Friday, December 16, 2005

Winning an Award for Being Agile

I came across this article describing how a game company won a industry prize for using Scrum. I can't decide if this is good or not? Maybe I'm just jealous ?


At Monday, December 19, 2005 10:40:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you clarify why this might not be good? Maybe you should aim to win this prize while at finetix? A challenege for 2006 :)

At Monday, December 19, 2005 12:42:00 pm, Blogger John S Nolan said...

I'm concerned the prize was for "contributions to technological innovation, due to its adoption of the "Scrum method" for producing video games using agile development". Scrum is not a technological innovation, is it? (unless you want to split hairs)

It is good in so far as within the games industry the use of Scrum has been seen as sufficiently valuable and a big enough impact to warrant a prize!!

I would love to try and win this prize while at Finetix! However the demand for games software within banking is limited :-(

At Monday, December 19, 2005 12:50:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't financial software a betting game?

Does finetix really do Agile-Scrum, as the web site is a bit case studyless. Its also unclear speaking to various mates in New York if finetix has actually delivered any scrum-agile projects. Is it all marketing? Will we see finetix speaking at various agile conferences?

At Monday, December 19, 2005 1:08:00 pm, Blogger John S Nolan said...

Indeed, it is all betting. In fact most of our customers at Connextra ended up being Betting companies - so it was just business as usual for me :-)

I Finetix Agile-Scrum right now?
We have at least 2 real Scrum projects going - and I'm pushing at a 3rd. There is at least one completed Agile project at a Hedge Fund - but they're always so cagey about letting people know about there developments its difficult to write them up.

The intention is that all new projects will be Agile. The idea is that having people like myself and Damian Guy who have really delivered Agile projects, and training up our staff we can get more within the discipline of true Agile delivery everywhere.

The interesting thing about Finetix is that historically the way they approached delivering systems could be considered Agile - small iterations, rapid feedback, close to the business user, deliver sooner rather than later. I'm sure not all the projects were like this but a majority were. The thing that was missing was a repeatable discipline - thats where Scrum and XP practices come in to play.

Case studies - yup, you're right: thin on the Agile, but stay tuned!

Will you see us at Agile conferences? Of course! Already submitting entries for next year's various Agile conferences - and Banking conferences too. We're probably going to repeat the Agile Breakfast for Financial companies in the City with Ken Schwaber (that's London).

At Monday, December 19, 2005 4:46:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir, you comments are most interesting. ThoughtWorks has managed to given the impression of an agile consultancy within the city of london, however a percentage of their projects are very anti-agile, so finetix appear to be in the same boat of ThroughtWorks with regards projects. My team is agile today, so I offer you this question: Will you commit to putting two case studies on finetix's website by January 31 2006?

At Monday, December 19, 2005 4:54:00 pm, Blogger John S Nolan said...

In a true Agile response: I can't commit other people's time to deliver something. I would not be the content provider, though I would be lending a hand in writing the documents.

However, let me find out if I can get a Sprint commitment from those who would.

What value would you want to get from these case studies?

(please email me if you don't feel comfortable responding here

At Tuesday, December 20, 2005 12:36:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The department I work for in the financial sector is looking for a consultancy to bring to initially help out from a mentor role. We are also looking for a number of agile experts to partly staff two projects that are about to start. We've considered ThoughtWorks, Valtech to name but a few, and recently heard of finetix from a JP employee. The finetix web site is, plain to say the least. Appearing to most be composed of marketing dribble, with no substantial content to actually show what the company has done. Case studies would help us in deciding if we should give finetix a call, and move to the next stage.

At Tuesday, December 20, 2005 7:42:00 am, Blogger Crispin Rogers Johnson said...

Johnny, I too would welcome further case studies. My company is in the very early stages of adoptng agile and it has been a little painfull for all of us. Some honest early adopter stories (and what was done to help change) would be great. I liked your DICE post but its the sort of thing that would make my manager glaze over! I find it *hard* to commit to but it would be great to see something concrete. P.S. What conferences are you looking at? Will it be you speaking? (I hope so)

At Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:41:00 am, Blogger John S Nolan said...

Thanks for the feedback on the website (I think? :-) )

Our main "product" is the staffing and management of high-value projects in Finance. Hence our web-site content is very heavy on the associated "marketing dribble", as you put it. I've already started the ball rolling on the Agile oriented whitepapers.

Part of the Finetix offer is mentoring in Agile delivery - but like a lot of professions (e.g. lawyers, accountants, surgeons) you are always best to ask about the specific and individual experience of the mentors that will be provided. We have a mix of people who have delivered high-value projects in an almost Agile manner, to people like Damian and I who are hardcore Agile and have delivered in many industries including Finance. We believe this mix is important so you get current banking knowledge , current delivery best practices and people who know what it is *really* like to work in banks. We're not a general consultancy and we don't run a bench.

I would welcome the chance to actually discuss this stuff with you in a collaborative Agile manner? Whitepapers are such a narrow band of communication. Just like requirements documents are trumped by Planning Games in Agile projects, so too is it better to discuss directly your requirements for mentoring.

Having said that there will be an Agile oriented whitepaper coming soon.


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