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Development In a Tesseract Observations and Developmental Experiences
Being a developer for a government contract,  I'm pretty much tied to a waterfall process.  We can call them 'spirals' or 'iterations' or any name we choose, but at the end of our day, requirements, design, code, test is what the government likes to see.

For my debut set of posts,  I'd like to start a discussion of how to minimize the negative effects of waterfall development, by borrowing smartly from the agile world.  As many have noted before, partly doing agile can cause more difficulties than it solves, so the steps and missteps that we've taken are important learning tools in the path to better waterfall development.

While I'd like to become more agile, the truth is the days in which the government would have accepted that approach easily are gone.  Years of bad development practices and late software have moved the government to be more fixed in the waterfall approach, and since they hold the checkbook, we are forced to move along a pretty constrained path.

I hope that my counterparts in the commercial world, who have been free to adopt agile methods wholesale will appreciate a look into the 'dark side' of development.

In a couple of days (sick child at home), I will be discussing "Making the most of traditional peer reviews". Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 7:52 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Making the most of traditional development practices

# re: Making the most of traditional development practices
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Hi Steven,

Welcome to the blogosphere. I've only been at it for a little while myself. Blogging is a challenge, but it's also fun. I've followed geekswithblogs postings for quite a while and enjoy them a great deal.

Your post caught my eye because I've recently been involved in some discussions regarding the adoption of Agile methodologies in regulated settings. Even though your government contract requirements are different than FDA regulations, these discussions may provide you some insight.

It started here:
http://forums.construx.com/forums/p/432/882.aspx

There are also a couple of Agile posts on my blog.

Good Luck!

Best Regards,
Bob
Left by Bob on Aug 19, 2007 6:49 PM

# re: Making the most of traditional development practices
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That's an interesting thread, and actually do actually work in the DoD world.

However, I can say that while there are standards in place and lip service is given to the idea of iterations, most of the development practices are firmly in the world of the waterfall, or one of the waterfall variants such as the Rational Unified Process.

The contracts I have worked still follow the Requirements Review, Design Review, Test Readiness Review, etc.

The iterations are basically smaller chucks of work, but certainly not agile in any meaning of the word. I'm sure you can find some areas in the DoD world that are more agile than the areas I've worked, but as a whole they are still sold on the waterfall.
Left by Steven Mitcham on Aug 20, 2007 12:05 PM

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