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Re: [xml-dev] XML As Fall Guy

On 28/11/2013 3:18 am, "Michael Kay" <mike@saxonica.com> wrote:

>> I wonder how much better these types of projects could go if a more
>> incremental (Agile) approach was taken. The beauty of XML is that if you
>> set
>> the systems up right it can give you amazing flexibility and power
>> combined.
>No one knows how to do government-style procurement in an Agile way. The
>only way they know is to write a 10,000 page invitation to tender, have
>three big consultancies spend a few million dollars each writing a 10,000
>page response to it, and then choosing one of the options. By this time
>you are thoroughly locked into an extreme Waterfall model; moreover you
>have frozen your key technology choices very early in the cycle, whereas
>from an engineering point of view you should commit to specific products
>as late as possible.
>I did see one project that tried to do it differently. They said "We've
>got a £20m budget, tell us what you can do for us with that". The
>suppliers spent the first £5m doing requirements analysis; it was back in
>Waterfall world because they still wanted a system description before
>choosing a supplier. They would have regarded anything else as signing a
>blank cheque.

Yes you have hit the nail on the head, this is exactly what I meant.

I believe there is no quick fix to this, due to the breadth and depth of
decision makers involved in these type of technology projects. However, if
there were some way of proving such best practice (to the decision makers)
then it may end up scaling to large projects. It would seem that large,
public failures are opportune times to position such alternatives.

In my experience I havenıt seen Agile approaches used for custom software
development worth much more than $2m, in those cases the key was in the
customer having utmost confidence in the solution and development team.

I would be interested if yourself or others have anecdotes of Agile
applied to large, complex development projects for tailored software
solutions. We may be going a bit off-piste for xml-dev here so please keep
it relevant to the list if you do have feedback.

Gareth Oakes
Chief Architect, GPSL

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