Mathematical Equation for Great Agile Software Development

Happy Monday!!  I really hope you enjoyed last week’s post “Intro to Agile for Waterfall PMs” from my guest Derek Huether…good stuff, check it out.  This week, we will continue this 3 part discussion on Agile with another tremendous guest…Peter Saddington.  Peter has authored “The Scrum Pocket Guide“, is the Executive Editor of AgileScout.com, and passionate Agile Coach.  I hope you enjoy the post below and as always…we would love to hear your thoughts.  I want to talk WITH you and not AT you.  Without further delay, I now turn it over to Peter and his thoughts on Agile software development…

I’m always looking for creative ways to look at Agile software development. As a developer myself, I want to continue to grow my craft. Sitting back in my comfortable chair one day I realized that there has to be a formula for great Agile software development. I mean, seriously, there HAS to be someone out there that thought of it before! Well, a guy named Joe Kinsella created one, but I wasn’t sold by it.

His equation goes like this:

gs = gp + wdp + ge + gl

where

gs = great software
gp = good people
wdp = well defined problem
ge = good environment
gl = good leadership

Therefore, great software is when good people work in a good environment led by good leaders who define problems (enough).

What you’ll find here is that in this equation is no reference to Agile or any other development methodology. That was exactly Joe’s point: There are no absolutes or sacred cows in software development.

So is it possible to have great software if one of the elements in the equation isn’t “good?” Does the whole formula collapse? What if you have good people and a good environment but crappy leadership?

While we’re analyzing this equation I decided to make up one of our own for Agile software development:

gasd = gsp + epo + fe + gl + ttw

where

gasd = great Agile software development
gsp = good smart people
epo = engaged product owner
fe = fun environment
gl = great leadership
ttw = total team work

Ah, the joys of formula-crafting. What do you guys think?

Peter Saddington is an independent Enterprise Agile Coach and entrepreneur. He is also theExecutive Editor of the popular AgileScout.com Agile News site. He coaches teams during the day and at night from 10PM -2PM he codes and developers cool stuff on the internet. Follow him on Twitter @agilescout.

In addition to connecting with Peter above, you can connect with me on Twitter here and Derek here.  Join me next week as we close out this 3 week focus on Agile with a post on challenges to implementing Agile.  See you then!

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8 thoughts on “Mathematical Equation for Great Agile Software Development

  1. gasd = great Agile software development
    gsp = good smart people
    epo = engaged product owner
    fe = fun environment
    gl = great leadership
    ttw = total team work

    That is good stuff!!

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