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Agile Project Management


Agile Project Management

{This topic has been broken into a two-part series; Part 2 is in the June meeting}

There has always been this myth that Agile, and specifically Scrum, is anti Project Management. In reality, Scrum is all about Project Management and, in fact, our project management practices here at Primavera are stronger now than they were before we started adopting Agile Development methodologies.

This session will explore what Agile Project Management is all about, and what practices we follow here at Primavera to manage Agile projects.

Agenda

  1. 6:30 - 7:00 - Greet, Food, intro, and announcements, etc.
  2. 7:00 - 8:00 - Ibrahim's presentation
  3. 8:00 - 8:30 - Conclusion and further discussion
  4. 8:30 onwards - Social Hours

Sponsors


Thanks to Gestalt for hosting the meeting and sponsoring the food.

About Ibrahim Abdelshafi


Ibrahim Abdelshafi is vice president of development for Primavera Systems, where he leads the design, programming, testing and documentation of the Primavera enterprise project, resource and portfolio management solutions. Previously, he was the Director of Programming at Primavera, responsible for developing the architecture to support its multi-platform, highly scalable suite of enterprise products.

Ibrahim helped drive Primavera’s implementation of agile development methodologies and successfully adapted the agile methods to work within a project management culture. He has published articles and presented at conferences focused on both agile development and project management, and mentors other development organizations in their adoption of agile development practices.

Ibrahim has more than 16 years of experience in the software industry. He received an MS in Computer-Aided-Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

About the facility

Gestalt, LLC is located at 680 American Ave., King of Prussia. The building is located off of 1st Ave, in the King of Prussia Corporate area near the Convention Center. If you know how to get to the Convention Center on the corner of N. Gulph Road and 1st Ave, take 1st Ave. to American Ave. (2 lights down from Convention Center). Turn onto American Ave. and follow past the 2 hotels. Go straight through stop sign and the building will be the first one on your left. 680 American Ave. Front door is right across from Turnpike.

Take the elevator to the 3rd floor. Enter Gestalt, LLC through the lobby doors; follow the signs to the meeting. The meeting will either be in the open area on the left side of the building from the lobby or in the conference room attached to the lobby. Signs will clearly direct you to the location.

The restrooms are behind the elevator shaft outside of the lobby.

Driving directions

Click here for Driving Directions

Meeting Notes

April 3, 2007

Meeting Minutes: Agile Project Management by Ibrahim Abdelshafi of Primavera Systems.



Today's very informative presentation on Agile Project Management was not a mere "presentation" but a "team learning experience", which was not delivered by the instructor alone, but by the whole "group." This evening, so many of the people in the room opened-up and shared their experiences, the whole atmosphere made this truly an "Agile" presentation.



A few of the many interesting group discussions:



The developer review process in an Agile Environment. Should the Sprint Review Meeting ever be cancelled? What is the best way to perform Refactoring? How to maintain technical tasks, important in the eyes of the developers, but not so for BAs? Followed by discussions on "Technical Debt" and "Technical Team." Paper vs. Electronic means of task management. The importance of getting the right people to become SCRUM Masters, and how to do that. Rotating SCRUM Masters, good or bad? The importance of TDD and how to instill it in the development environment. And many more interesting topics.

Some quotes:

"Backlog is a tool, not a weapon."

"Agile is about continuous improvement: There is always room for improvement."

Today was a very collaborative learning experience, in which almost all present contributed. Well said by someone today: "there is more value in discussion than a presentation."

Group Discussion Photos

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Part 2 Meeting Notes June 5th, 2007, with 22 attending

Agile Project Mgmt – Part 2 with Ibrahim Abdelshafi

Following up from Part 1 - Conversations, Collaboration and Discussion

Case Study: At Primavera, software releases are every 21 months,

Half of our discussion concerned Planning Sprints

Sprint Minus One( -1 )

  • Estimation Team doing upfront work, accounting for Technical Debt.

Sprint Zero( 0 ) = Flesh Out Requirements

  • This sprint is more common with large number of teams

  • Lots of involvement of Stakeholders above Product Owners who want to plan and budget.

  • No requirement goes over two weeks of effort

  • Insert a Sprint Zero about every 6 sprints

  • Deliverables of Sprint Zero are Estimates
Estimates are recorded at 4 levels:
        Functions
                Features 
                        B.A. Requirements (average 3 days)
                                Activities

Some staff is reserved for Big Vision Roles with Look-Ahead Responsibilities:

  • Domain Design Modeler = versed in Business Terms within Modular Functions
  • Architecture Council (or Jedi Council of technical architecture, to focus on future directions or high-risk areas). (These are where some non-Scrum staff were placed)
  • Rotating Code Reviews between teams

The breakdown of practices became = Anti-Agile vs. Adapting Agile vs. True Agile:

Anti-Agile:
  • If you are prioritizing across Functional Areas, then Waterfall may be better.

Adapting Agile:
  • Sprint zero contains overly conservative estimates
  • Only 3 bugs move into the next iteration and no bug goes over 30 days
  • Developers still have Functional managers for enforcing standards, etc

True Agile:
  • No interruptions for Future Backlog
  • Either a Full Time Scrum Master vs. Part Time Scrum Master from the team is appropriate.
  • Ratio of 2 testers to 3 Programmers is fairly standard for large SW projects. The line is now blurring between Programmers and Testers due to test scripts, writing Java tests, etc.

Quotes:



"Scrum and TDD is a match made in heaven."

Agile is not "anti-project management", it means better project management.

Over all this was a synergetic, collaborative session, with intelligent discussions and people expressing different point-of-views.

Click here for event pictures http://tech.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/agilephilly/photos/browse/eba1

recorded by John Voris and Ahsen Jaffer

Next meeting is August 7th at Comcast, 15th & Market next to Suburban Stn

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