A truism in life is that we all have the same amount of time in each day. What we do with that time is what makes all the difference. We talked with development expert Scott Bowen about how to make the most of your time when you’re working on an development project with a pending release date.
“Sometimes customers are challenged in articulating what they want, and it’s easy to have teams misinterpret customers’ wishes. In Scrum you prioritize the highest-level features (user stories), work on those, and at the end of the cycle, you have something to demonstrate to a customer and get concrete feedback. Wasted effort is minimized, and rework is reduced. Also, as you continue on, you start to learn more about the unwritten requirements that the customer may have that would not otherwise surface in a requirements specification documentation session. With Scrum, you can more quickly adapt a product to meet the true needs of the customer.
I worked with a customer who was adopting Scrum. They worked, very much, in a waterfall environment before. We asked them why they were changing. The development manager told us, ‘I want my people to focus less on all that upfront documentation and start building some code. If we don’t use Scrum, we’ll still be here a year later arguing over the functional specifications and requirements, without a single line of code written.’
The ultimate goal is hitting your product release date. It’s very likely that things are going to change between now and the release date. The idea is that as you near that release date, and there are certain features or user stories that won’t be ready, they are lower priority because you continuously prioritize and work on the highest priority stories, delivering and getting early feedback on the highest-priority functionality. This allows you to deliver a product that is valuable to your customer.”
Lee Iacocca, the well known business leader who turned around Chrysler in the 1980s, said, “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” How do you prioritize your time to make the most of your development efforts?
Contact Scott Bowen by email at ScottJB@vmc.com or 877.393.8622.