Software Development - HORSE-stylePosted by Dylan Beattie on 11 September 2011 • permalink
There's as many ways to lose at poker as there's ways to fail at delivering software, but one variation I have yet to experience is a game called HORSE. In HORSE, each hand follows a different set of rules - you'll play a hand of Hold'Em, a hand of Omaha, a hand of Razz, a hand of Stud, and a hand of Stud Hi-Lo; then you go back to the beginning and do it all over again, until my brother has all my chips.
Inspired by this, I've devised the following brilliant software methodology for all those teams who can't quite settle on a system that works for them. It's called WALKS, and you work in two-week sprints, using a different methodology for each sprint to ensure you get the maximum efficiency from all these wonderful processes and systems:
Weeks 1-2: Waterfall
You spend the first two weeks making bold, ambitious, big-design-up-front plans, and not actually writing any code or shipping any features.
Weeks 3-4: Agile
You spend the next two weeks trying desperately to get *something* built and releasable.
Weeks 5-6: Lean
Realizing that your "big design" is probably killing your attempts to be agile, you start hacking out unnecessary features and trying to pare the design back to something you might actually be able to build.
Weeks 7-8: Kanban
You still don't know what you're doing, so you decide to write everything on Post-It notes and stick them to a board, figuring that if you start pulling jobs off the queue, you might at least get *something* done.
Weeks 9-10: Scrum
You have two weeks of daily stand-up meetings, in a desperate attempt to try and get a handle on things. Finally, you sit down on Friday afternoon, have a two-hour timeboxed retrospective, and decide that what you really need is a full set of requirements and a definitive spec.
Then you take a weekend off, come in on Monday, and start at the top again.
If that sounds familiar, it's OK - you're not hopelessly lost, confused or unproductive; you're just taking a structured approach to being multi-disciplinary...
(This is a joke post. Please don't use WALKS to build software. Ever. The world has enough problems as it is...)