Coming to the end of a reasonably successful yet pressure-pan project I have to look back and realize a few things.
The project started under a bad premise. The company we did the project for, the client, did not appreciate the company that preceded us in this. They had built the Intranet and there had been some struggles to get it all running smoothly. There were delays and setbacks. So the client had build in many controls. Their Leninistic approach of “trust is good, control is better” meant we were unable to get their trust.
Funnily enough we found out that the roles should have been reversed. Our last stages of the project were wrought in frustration over the lack of control on their own environments. Their knowledge of their own systems was abominal, and every time we delivered a new deployment the issues that occurred and re-occurred were surprising.
Our predecessors must have felt the same frustration we felt. Suffice to say my team and me were hoping we could get out of there very very soon.
One of the assumptions I made at the start was that the client welcomed Agile. And frankly it seemed that way till close to the end. I was asked to give classes on Agile and Scrum and the advantages of Scrum were welcomed. They liked to add changes to the project and we complied.
At the end however they broke all the Agile values.
They wanted to stick to processes, interaction between individuals was reduced to email (which I consider correspondence, not communication).
Delivering the documentation (Technical Designs) was deemed more important than getting the software to work.
The contract (functional design based) was suddenly being quoted and we were being held to everything in it, despite the fact that the changes were requested by their “product owner”. They didn’t wanna hear anything about the changes and additions being additional work for the team as we were agile, right?
They implemented a plan, we were held to it.
A dream turned into a nightmare. Strangely enough the strive for 100% makes it so that we just can’t get out of there. 80% of the time spent on traditional projects is after all spent on the last 20% of the project…
We also lost the next project. I guess we are the new predecessor …none of us mourn this though