D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Dev Teach Day 2 - David Laribee: The Story, The Iteration, The Release (A Data Dump on Agile Planning)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:27 AM

David Laribee is prepping right now for his talk...yet another Mac user, and not like others who are using Windows on his Mac...we're going to be seeing Apple Keynote in action folks!

Another full house here in the Agile room.

David looks to be using a 15" Mac Powerbook. I wasn't a huge fan of the smaller screen size, but Kent Sharkey was in the office last week with his and the resolution is surprisingly good.

Woodsy almost tripped Oren...geeze Woodsy, are you that badly wanting to speak that you'd take out another presenter?! (Note: Oren = Oren Eini...which = Ayende? I'm confused...)

David is rocking the calculator wrist watch...

"[Gantt chart scheduling] is the equivalent of smoking crack." I couldn't agree more!

David just rocked a slide with Duke from GI Joe with the comment "Knowing is only half the battle". Awesome!

The rest of the presentation revolved mainly around using Stories instead of traditional use cases to capture functional requirements and acceptance requirements. David talked about how to estimate using stories ( a technique called Triangulation), with the idea being that you take certain stories that are great examples of a certain value (each story is given a point value which is abstract and represents an associated time, difficulty, etc.)...these examples are then used to compare future stories against for driving estimates (so if I know it took me 3 days to dig a hole 10' x 10', then it'll probably take me almost the same for a 9' x 11' hole).

Of course this leads to the obvious question: what if you don't have any stories to go on? The answer seemed to be "take an educated guess", or do trial by fire: schedule some stories into an iteration and then when you do your retrospective decide what sort of point assignment those stories should have been.

There was some great discussion and other great information that was shared. Unfortunately we weren't able to dive deep enough into all his intended topics because of time, but there was still a tonne of value in what we did discuss.

I'd still like to dialogue with people who utilize scrum and have had success convincing clients to trust the process. So many clients want to know up front how much money a project will be (the construction ideology that Jeremy Miller talked about in his morning session), so how do you sell them on the idea that they will get value up front and delivery early and often, but at the same time you "don't know what you don't know"?

David also suggested reading Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn.

Ok...I'm starting to fade a bit...afternoon nap time.



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