Tuesday, January 25, 2011

True iterations deliver value

Everyone wants to be iterative and incremental these days. Iterations are indeed nothing new; they have been around inside and outside of RUP and other methodologies for a long time and they show up again in SCRUM (called Sprints) and XP. Many projects claims to be iterative, but are they really?

In my view you are truly iterative only if you for each iteration go through the whole cycle of analysis, design, implementation, integration, test and deploy to really produce a high quality increment of the final system. Many projects I’ve seen claims to be iterative but tends to focus only on analysis and design in the first iteration, hence implicitly converting the iterations to phases in a good old fashioned waterfall.

The only way you get to benefit the true value of iterative development is to run through the whole cycle and collect feedback from everyone involved. Then you know how to do even better in your next iteration. As a Software Engineer we should really push for true iterations in our projects since that is the only way we are sure to be involved and able to give and receive early feedback.

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