Re: [ljc] agile and strategic

From: Matt P.
Sent on: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 9:14 PM
Hi all

Thanks everyone for the contributions to this discussion, especially the specific comments on how and when to (re-)focus on strategic goals setting and adjustment. One take-away for me from this discussion, perhaps, is that agile gives ample opportunity to deliver on strategy -- greater opportunities than some other methods -- but the efficacy is influenced by the quality of communication between stakeholders (client, product owner, R&D), trust between product owner and R&D, and longer term view of the backlog.

Hope that's a fair summary of people's comments.

From: [address removed] <[address removed]>
To: [address removed] <[address removed]>
Sent: Mon Jul 02 15:30:[masked]
Subject: Re: [ljc] agile and strategic

I'm a long way off being any kind of agile expert, but I'm not sure why agile practices would in any way prevent a team from having a long term / strategic perspective. Admittedly, during an individual sprint, you're not going to be thinking much about features that are 6 months down the backlog, but in the transition between sprints it is normal to take a more strategic view.

At the end of each sprint, you're likely to be reviewing what was delivered in the last sprint, maybe checking out burn-downs and getting a reasonable view on whether the project is on target for whatever longer term delivery dates you have. Features should also be prioritised for the next sprint based on their impact on future tasks in the project. An important factor in prioritisation decisions is picking off complex issues and blockers early. You do need to be looking ahead in order to do this.

One standard feature of an agile project is to get environments (dev, test and production) out there as early as possible, along with mechanisms for testing and deploying. I suspect that the main reason for this is that these are unquestionably required as part of the solution. If you have them implemented early, then you know that the time you have left is dedicated to developing features. This means that any slippage from that point on can be dealt with by de-scoping less important features, or maybe if you're early enough, adding to the team. One note on this is that I have worked in places where it could take an infrastructure team months to provision a test environment. This makes it impossible to provision environments early. I would hope with more corporate acceptance of cloud infrastructure such as AWS (and maybe Microsoft's Azure could make a big difference with corporates), it should be trivial to provision all the environments you need in next to no time.

The dev team isn't meant to be a locked down little bubble containing people who are aware of their next ten Jira tasks and no more, so to be perfectly honest, if an agile project isn't taking long term / strategic objectives into account, then that is more likely a communication issue. I'm pretty sure all the agile methods include forums for such communication (i.e. the demo at the end of a sprint can be one). I would look at whether the business (or maybe ivory tower architects if you're in a large company) are not communicating their objectives clearly, or whether the development team is ignoring them. Either way, you have a people and communications problem, not a methodology problem.

Hopefully that provides a few slightly useful thoughts on the topic...


>> On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM, Matt Pearce
>> <[address removed]>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi
>>> Would like to pick up on Richard's comment: 'Agile lacks long-term
>>> planning', on a new thread.
>>> I'm interested in which ways can Agile practitioners keep long-term or
>>> strategic goals in focus, while retaining the agility of being able to
>>> change direction. What works, what doesn't?
>>> Thanks
>>> Matt

Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Stephen Masters ([address removed]) from LJC - London Java Community.
To learn more about Stephen Masters, visit his/her member profile
Set my mailing list to email me As they are sent | In one daily email | Don't send me mailing list messages

Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] | [address removed]
This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient(s), please reply to the sender and destroy all copies of the original message. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email, and/or any action taken in reliance on the contents of this e-mail is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.

Our Sponsors

  • Our Blog

    Read the latest news from the LJC

  • RecWorks Ltd

    Fixing Tech Recruitment using the Power of Community

  • jClarity

    Java/JVM Performance Analysis Tools & mentoring for Java related matters

  • LJC Aggrity

    Our LJC Aggrity site contains blog posts from our members

  • LJC Book Club

    Our Book club with book reviews from our members

  • Devoxx UK

    Java Community Conference, in collaboration with the LJC 12/13 Jun 14

  • SkillsMatter

    "Host, help organise, promote, film many of our meetings."

  • Hazelcast

    Hazelcast is the leader in operating in-memory computing.

  • Packt Publishing

    A publishing company specializing on specific technologies and solutions

  • Java.Net

    We are an official Java User Group recognised by Oracle's JUG program

  • JRebel

    Free 3 month J-Rebel license.

  • O'Reilly

    40% discount on printed books and 50% on e-books.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy