MSF for Agile Software Development - You've Got To Be Kidding, Right?
Matt Davey pointed me at the MSF for Agile Software Development Beta. Damian Guy and I read through it - its a very good laugh! I would like to thank Microsoft for producing such a magnificent pre-Christmas spoof for our entertainment. I recommend it for your geek office party.
Hold on - maybe they're serious?? If so this is a real problem.
This is a terrible whitewash of the MSF product with an Agile brush for the purpose of marketing. The phrase which really rubs me the wrong way is in the Principles section of the Overview:
"This approach helps create an adaptive process that overcomes the boundary conditions of most agile software development processes while achieving the objectives set out in the vision of the project"What the hell are you talking about? What boundary conditions? They don't define them anywhere. Is the boundary the need not to use the MSF product?
I cannot see much in here that would help you get any more Agile than you would be using normal development practices. Further a lot of the statements in here are non-sensical to an Agile ear, for example:
- Under the Role>Developer>Fix A Bug>Step-By-Step it describes the process as fixing the bug THEN write the test to prove it works. Clearly the Agile practice of Test Driven didn't quite get through?
- There is a section in the role>Developer>Implement A Development Task>Step-By-Step that describes doing a code review and says "Stay in the zero defect state". What? When do you not operate in a zero defect state?
- The Role of Architect clearly describes a "big design up front" approach
- It is very light on any Practice description - although a practice described in the "Pride of Workmanship" Mindset is "giving projects code names to clearly identify the project". Wow.
- One of Damian's favourites is the diagram at the bottom of Overview>Team Model under the Scaling Down subtitle. This recommends which roles not to try to share in individuals if you scale the project down. It recommends not confusing people by combining the roles of Developer, Tester and User Experience. Errr...that's, like, completely opposite to most Agile thinking?
- The Project Manager appears to be very busy estimating Scenarios, Development Tasks and Testing Tasks. Thankfully the MSF for Agile helpfully co-ordinates this into Microsoft Project so he can print out a Gannt chart for developers
- The list goes on....
This is an abuse of the Agile ideas for vending the same old tools and maintaining the same behaviorial practices. There is nothing in here about the practices you use to achieve valuing your people over your tools. There is nothing in here that would create a self-organizing complex adaptive Agile team.
If you're looking get the benefits of Agile Delivery, don't start with MSF for Agile.
They're using the words but not singing the tune.