What is important in making a 'plan' for a development project?

In software development, a method called 'agile development ' that repeats processes such as 'planning,' 'design,' 'implementation,' and 'testing' in a short cycle may be adopted. Lisa Marie Bavik of software company Menlo Innovations has actually adopted what is important in planning a project, centering on agile development, which is said to be able to get the job done quickly and grow the team. It is introduced based on the example.

Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable

If an organization fails in any project, it often employs formal planning methods to improve the project, Bavik said. However, Bavik also said that if the plan was not changed at all from the beginning, or if few people were involved in the planning, it would be less valuable. 'The value of the plan lies not in the paper on which the plan is written, but in the act of making the plan itself,' said Mr. Babik, who actually introduced the planning method that Mr. Babik is doing at Menlo Innovations. increase.

In the Menlo Innovations process, planning repeats three steps of 'planning,' 'execution,' and 'management' in a cycle of one to two weeks. First, make a schedule and budget estimate in the 'planning' step, perform specific work in the 'execution' step, and scrutinize the work performed in the 'management' step. The key to this cycle is the 'execution' and 'management' steps rather than the 'planning'.

In the 'execution' step, the team that has done some work always creates a 'story card' by hand, and here 'what kind of work was done' 'how to evaluate the work content' 'next Fill in the contents such as 'What kind of work do you do?' Such a story card is very important because it will inform the whole of the progress of the work in the later 'management' process, and it is possible to create a new story card at any time. matter. Below is a draft of the story card that was actually made

Also, what you write on the story card should be concrete and easy for everyone to understand. For example, even if a technician writes 'Reduce the number of SQL calls at startup', other people may not understand the meaning or there may be a difference in interpretation. Therefore, by writing, 'By reducing the number of SQL calls, the application startup time will be reduced by 7 seconds or more. It is expected that the startup time will be reduced to 2 seconds.' You also need to be able to understand.

Once you have enough of these story cards, team members get together to read the story cards aloud and 'manage' them to allocate the time needed for the next task written on the story cards. In the 'Administration' step, everyone also does a task called 'Show & Tell'. It aims to share visions and generate discussions by demonstrating completed work during the cycle, which also helps strengthen the next plan.

By repeating this cycle, the plan is revised as needed, and sharing information and experience can improve the team and the entire project. Menlo Innovations has implemented this technique in most cases, except when the project is too large or too small.

'The challenge for most projects is that the plan is done only once. You can share and see the progress of your team as soon as possible and continue to do that to make your project a success. I will conclude.

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