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Software in 30 Days: How Agile Managers Beat the Odds, Delight Their Customers, And Leave Competitors In the Dust by Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber

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Chapter 4

What Can I Do?

If you've made it this far, you've decided to go further with empirical software development. You may be enamored, you may be intellectually intrigued, or you may crave the benefits demonstrated by the pilot. Regardless, you know it is better than what you have now.

Although many other parts of your organization, such as the sales and financial organizations, operate empirically, this is new to your software developers. Everyone in software development and those who employ them to build products are used to predictive software development. They have probably known it for at least several years, maybe longer. To them, it is the way things are done.

Managers ask what they can do to help make empirical software development succeed. Most people are unfamiliar with applying empiricism to software development. In the following sections, we discuss empirical practices and outlooks that management can help them become aware of.

Practice the Art of the Possible

Empiricism is doing the best you can with what you have. In the past, software development started by creating a plan. Developers were then expected and managed to follow the plan exactly, regardless of the realities they encountered.

Empirical software development plans are created just in time. A goal is established, and then the team moves toward that goal, iteration by iteration. The plan is modified as needed based on experience. The path to the goal may be different from what is anticipated, but it ...

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