Re: Agile, SCRUM and Technical Writing

Subject: Re: Agile, SCRUM and Technical Writing
From: Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 11:34:27 -0500

I would seriously doubt the validity of the research design if these were the conclusions. Having detailed requirements, i.e., knowing exactly where you're going, can only be a "leading cause of failure of IT projects" when people don't adhere to them. The fact that they mention change management suggests that the requirements were changed but the changes weren't managed. THAT will certainly lead to project failure.

This quotation raises some serious questions about how these studies were conducted. And certainly how they're being interpreted.

In both principle and practice, I think Agile development is a good thing, but like all methodologies it has to be managed and controlled, and the right roles assigned. In much of agile and extreme programming the documentation is left in the hands of the developers, and we know this is wrong. The user stories are a great idea, but techwriters need to be involved in that phase as well. Agile is an attempt to put the control of development into the hands of the developers; unfortunately development is not a one-department process.

Many of us have been doing "just in time" documentation for years!
--Beth

Gillespie, Terilyn wrote:

Scott Ambler, from www.agilemodeling.com tells us: "One study
found that the creation of detailed requirements documents early in a
project and the change management procedures associated with doing so is
the leading cause of failure on IT projects. Another study found that
the creation of detailed design models had no effect on the success of a
software development."

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References:
Agile, SCRUM and Technical Writing: From: Gillespie, Terilyn

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