My love-hate relationship with Agile/Iterative software development goes back to 2001 (Extreme Programming-RUP-Scrum). All those years and projects led me to a funny conclusion that Agile is very much like Democracy.

Agile is the worst way (to control software project), but we do not have anything better.

Agile works very well, as soon as you have a team and an organization experienced with it. As soon as everybody knows the process well, and all aspects of CI/CD are successfully introduced everything is great.

Before it happens, however, there is this period of “almost”. The time when all things are moving fast already, but the control is still to be found. Everything is based on some opinions. Opinions expressed during a stand-up (“…almost all my items are almost ready…“), statements during project meetings (“…I’m almost sure we’ll make the release…“) etc.

The problem is that we are in this “Before state” 90% of the time.

However there is also good news. Agile projects have large data footprint. Everything what happens there is a data entry somewhere, in the source code repo, in the issue tracker, deployment log, test log etc.

The collection and interpretation of all project data takes time and skills, so it is rather difficult to do it frequently, or for multiple projects manually. But… But what if we look at it as a data problem ?

I believe that to take full advantage of Agile, it has to be made measurable first. And not with a simple burn-chart, but by combining as much project data as possible, by applying data analysis continuously, and by visualizing it from different perspectives for different stakeholders.

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