A New Project Life Cycle

I've introduced a new project life cycle model in our organization. It's an exotic cocktail, created from 1/3 DSDM, 1/3 Scrum and 1/3 Agile UP. There might even be a dash of Evo in it — Hell, I wouldn't care if it contained a hint of coconut or pineapple. Whatever works for our projects is fine with me.

You might be interested to know how the selection took place. Well, I know that the most succesful companies create their own custom methodologies from bits and pieces of other methods. So that's what I did too.

I carefully laid out all my books on the floor, and I set my hamster George free to select some bits and pieces to nibble on. The pipeline idea (separation of design vs. development vs. deployment) was taken from DSDM. I know that most other methods express their loathing of pipelines in software development, but George pissed on those sections. I simply had no choice. On the other hand, DSDM clearly distinguishes iterative and incremental cycles, while Scrum and the Unified Process have unified these in one and the same cycle. George, being a bit simple-minded, liked that idea. So we copied it. — George is not the rotating-wheel-kind-of-hamster. The less rotations, the better. — However, the strictness of doing the iterations/increments in exactly 30 days did not appeal to us. George does not like to be told what to do. So, in this case, the flexibility of Agile UP (and most other methods) prevailed, and the length of the iterations/increments cycle may be set to anything between 1 and 4 weeks.

The resulting lifecycle was presented in a PowerPoint slide to one of our customers. It was hailed as one of the best things we ever gave them. Certainly better than our coffee. I'm not taking any credits, of course, since George did most of the work. The sturdy red and grey colors were my idea though.

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