How to fix agile teams that are notoriously bad at hitting release dates

How to fix agile teams that are notoriously bad at hitting release dates

Alex Loijos is a four-time entrepreneur with nine years’ experience bringing new software to market in manufacturing, financial management, IoT devices and real estate. He holds a Master of Science from MIT. How to join the network Many of today’s best software companies tout agile development as a way to release software early and often, as longer-term planning can be more heavily impacted by project unknowns. Yet why do IT projects using agile still consistently hit delays and exceed budgets? Our development team was able to triple productivity by looking outward for inspiration, and found that the project planning methods commonly used in non-IT engineering projects have the key to solving this problem. It’s called reference class forecasting . Source: On-Site.com. A velocity chart by one of the dev teams before and after the implementation of reference class forecasting. Each sprint represents two weeks. Sprints 23-26 represent feature shortages and release overshoots. In sprint 24, the team began incorporating reference class forecasting. Target overshoots were maintained since sprint 27. As a consequence of better estimates and improved productivity, team morale and confidence markedly improved. But above all, the most important thing that reference class forecasting can teach is that we are naturally myopic, and consistently fail to account for dependence on people and technologies that live outside of the team. And, it helps us to deal with that problem in a systematic way. This article explains the theory and practice of applying this approach to agile development. The problem with estimating development efforts Oxford researchers Alexander Budzier and Bent Flyvbjerg published research in 2013 in which they found that agile methods appear to improve project delivery times. Yet, in the more than 4,000 IT projects they surveyed, the average schedule overrun was +37 percent , and the average cost […]