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78 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

It sounds like your management have been conned by the vendor, because this will be an extremely expensive process which will produce poor results. You've got a pretty good summary of the problems ...
pjc50's user avatar
  • 13.6k
45 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

Additionally, the vendor selected did not propose that they just take over our source code. Instead they sold my management on just altering their existing software's framework to handle our business ...
Ccm's user avatar
  • 1,589
40 votes
Accepted

In Scrum, why don't you use aging and guaranteed time slice to prevent outdated tasks in the backlog?

There is no issue with collecting new feature ideas for a product in the product backlog, even if those ideas will not be implemented within the next five years. Not every idea for a feature is worth ...
Doc Brown's user avatar
  • 208k
33 votes

In Scrum, why don't you use aging and guaranteed time slice to prevent outdated tasks in the backlog?

Why should a task become ever more important just because it's old? The point of agile methods is to decide what to do based on current info, not on outdated info. If you do it properly, then a task ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
31 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

When you said: they sold my management on just altering their existing software's framework to handle our business needs too It immediately turns the situation on its head. You haven't contracted ...
Ewan's user avatar
  • 76.4k
22 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

"Agile" does not mean "no planning", rather that you should expect and plan for changes to the plan. If you are the customer you should have access to the backlog for the re-...
JonasH's user avatar
  • 5,544
18 votes
Accepted

How to distribute development and bug fixes tasks

Your question sounds a bit like your "team" consists of this sole engineer? If yes, the main question is why they didn't run away yet. Such a situation isn't sustainable. Apart from the &...
Hans-Martin Mosner's user avatar
14 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

I hope for you someone has made a contract which allows to make check points in short intervals, where you have a chance to measure the project's progress and where you can cancel the contract if ...
Doc Brown's user avatar
  • 208k
14 votes

How to distribute development and bug fixes tasks

First of all I agree with Hans-Martin Mosner's answer. However, in your current situation there also might be an issue with the bug fixing process. Either all bugs are emergencies that directly affect ...
Frank Hopkins's user avatar
13 votes

How to distribute development and bug fixes tasks

It sounds like you are trapped in a loop of rushing the dev work, which then has bugs, which then causes you to rush the dev work. Break the cycle by doing fewer, but better tested releases. Stop ...
Ewan's user avatar
  • 76.4k
10 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

"Agile" is not the problem, the rewrite is not (your) problem, your involvement in the rewrite until it is done is the problem, because it will take much longer than expected. The question ...
Rad80's user avatar
  • 376
9 votes

Are group time estimates standard?

There are only problems here. What you describe is not group estimation. There are consensus-based estimation techniques - Wideband Delphi was developed in the 1970s and Planning Poker rose to ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Can TDD be suitable for a small team with overlapping but not identical domain knowledge

That is not the generally recommended way of doing unit tests, and is unlikely to work well. In terms of planning unit testing should be thought of as simply part of development. The strict TDD cycle ...
bdsl's user avatar
  • 2,734
8 votes

How to distribute development and bug fixes tasks

You have apparently not considered option D: stop doing Scrum. It sounds like your work is much more suited to something like Kanban rather than Scrum, so you should do that.
Philip Kendall's user avatar
8 votes

In Scrum, why don't you use aging and guaranteed time slice to prevent outdated tasks in the backlog?

Who says that you can't? Just because the practices aren't prescribed by Scrum doesn't mean that the Product Manager can't implement them. In fact, the Scrum Guide even says that you can add to it: ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.8k
7 votes

Can TDD be suitable for a small team with overlapping but not identical domain knowledge

What you describe, where one person is writing the tests and then hands those tests over to someone else to develop the solution that satisfies those tests, is not TDD. In TDD, the tests and the ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.8k
6 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

Just to answer "are they actually being agile" more concretely. The Manifesto for Agile Software Development says: We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and ...
James_pic's user avatar
  • 341
6 votes

Are group time estimates standard?

Our team assigns time estimates to tasks (not stories) in a group setting, [..] [..] so one of us will give an estimate This is contradictory. If one person gives an estimate, it's not done "in ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 51.7k
5 votes

How to distribute development and bug fixes tasks

One step is to set up everyone’s development environment so that bug fixes can be made without disturbing ongoing development. For example, I always have three folders that are checked out from git. ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 45.7k
5 votes
Accepted

Team Development Workflow

If you have multiple people working in parallel on related tasks, then those tasks should be integrated with each other as early and as often as practical. The aim of this integration is to find ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
4 votes

In Scrum, why don't you use aging and guaranteed time slice to prevent outdated tasks in the backlog?

I actually use almost the opposite approach. I maintain a tiered priority backlog: A has 2 items, B has 4 items, C has 16 items and D has 64 items, and then the idea graveyard. Adding an item to the ...
Michael Deardeuff's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Can BDD acceptance criteria format (Given - When - Then) be used for technical debt or tasks?

Behavior-driven development is far more than the Given-When-Then format of Gherkin and Gherkin-like languages. BDD is an evolution of test-driven development (TDD) and acceptance test-driven ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.8k
4 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

What can I do or say to this vendor and my bosses to explain that this approach is (1) terrible and (2) not actually "Agile" which is the buzz work they are using to our executives who have ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 8,949
4 votes

Should Acceptance Criteria be mapped to unit tests?

I feel that part of this is common, BDD/Gherkin/Cucumber style testing where you write tests as acceptance tests and have them print out whether they work or not in that human readable format. Adding ...
Ewan's user avatar
  • 76.4k
3 votes
Accepted

Should Acceptance Criteria be mapped to unit tests?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the most important thing to consider is a test's audience You're grating at this request precisely because this busy work could force the tests audience to ...
candied_orange's user avatar
3 votes

Should Acceptance Criteria be mapped to unit tests?

People often abuse the term "unit test" for any kind of automated test which is executed by some unit testing tool. So first thing you should do here is make a clear distinction between ...
Doc Brown's user avatar
  • 208k
3 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

Agile isn't right for everything. It's right for developing in situations with rapidly changing requirements. You have a fixed target, and regulatory requirements (which tend to be fairly static). ...
ScottishTapWater's user avatar
2 votes

Is our outsourced software vendor "Agile" or do they just not want to plan things?

What I would do is go to your boss and absolutely sing the praises of Agile as a professional technique. Explain how useful it is to keep the flexibility in a context where you don't yet know the ...
Josiah's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes

Team Development Workflow

The traditional "agile" way would be to design the tasks in such a way that each can be integrated separately without breaking anything; ideally so that each is an incremental improvement in ...
Jiří Baum's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

How do you do major changes within an iterative setup?

Its hard to understand what is really your question. But the common issue is that people think about Agile as "chaos". This is not true. Its completely fine even in Agile development to have ...
libik's user avatar
  • 320

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