Agile Project Management: Project Initiation

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I’m delighted to introduce another guest blogger on All About Agile. Scott Ambler has agreed to blog here from time to time. Scott is Chief Methodologist at IBM Rational and (co)author of 19 books!

His first post is a call for action. Scott runs various surveys in order to get feedback on key issues in agile software development. The latest is about project initiation. I know many people do not like to fill out surveys, but I encourage you to complete this one as it’s important for the ongoing development of the agile ‘body of knowledge’.

Over to Scott…

I’m often asked fundamental questions by people new to agile regarding how people go about getting an agile project started. What strategies do people use for estimating? What approaches to project funding do people typically use? What did you have to do to justify the project? How much modeling occurs and to what extent? How long does this typically take? Without decent answers to many of these questions some people are still reticent to experiment with agile approaches to software development.

So, to get answers to these sorts of questions Mike Vizdos and I have put together the Agile Project Initiation Survey. There are 17 questions in this survey, although you may not be asked all of them, and it should take you at most 5 minutes to complete. Thank you very much for investing your valuable time to fill it out.

To entice you to fill out the survey we’ll be drawing for 10 copies of “Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products, 2nd Edition” by Jim Highsmith, published in July 2009 by Addison Wesley.

The results of this survey will be summarized in my “Agile by the Numbers” presentation at Agile 2009 in Chicago on August 27th. Furthermore, this is an open survey, so the source data (without identifying information to protect your privacy), a summary slide deck, and the original source questions will be posted at my IT Surveys page so that others may analyze the data for their own purposes. Data from previous surveys have been used by university students and professors for their research papers, and hopefully the same will be true of the data from this survey. The results from several other surveys are already posted there, so please feel free to take advantage of this resource.

For anyone who is reticent about filling out a survey, or who doesn’t see the value in them, you might want to read ‘Surveying the Agile Community‘ for some arguments as to why you should consider investing your valuable time to help us out. Thanks in advance!

Click here to take the agile project initiation survey now.

– Scott.

Scott Ambler is Chief Methodologist/Agile&SOA with IBM Rational. He is the (co)-author of 19 books on software development topics ranging from very traditional to very agile approaches. In recent years his focus has been on techniques to scale agile software development, in particular how modeling, documentation, and database issues can be addressed agilely. He works with customers around the world to improve their software processes in a manner which reflects their unique situation. He is a senior contributing editor with Information Week and a keynote speaker at software conferences internationally. He also writes a blog on the IBM web site, about strategies for scaling agile software developmentAgility@Scale.