A Critical Look at the Agile Process on the MarthaStewart.com Drupal Re-Platforming
Agile and Scrum, a particular flavor of the Agile Process, are the soup du jour. Scrum is used to manage most large enterprise Drupal projects. When Scrum/Agile projects stumble, or even fail, it's often because the project wasn't truly an Agile project to begin with. Often the project had a fixed timeline, fixed budget, or fixed scope, and was simply a Waterfall project with a crunchy Agile shell. It's difficult to work in an Agile manner when time is short, stakeholders are absent, or scope is rigid, though that doesn't prevent many shops from co-opting the trendy terminology so you'll often hear about sprints, velocity, or burn-down rates on Waterfall projects.
But where are the limits, the hidden fracture lines, of a textbook Agile project? Let's say you have the time, the budget, the committed stakeholders, the Scrum-savvy developers, product owners, and project managers, and the flexible scope, where does Agile stumble when it's done by-the-book by an experienced team of veteran project managers?
We'll examine a rather large Drupal project, the MarthaStewart.com family of sites, and discuss where Agile wasn't so agile, and the techniques the team used to prop it back up. We'll look at some points of friction between how Agile wants a project to work, and how Drupal, the technology, wants a project to work, and offer a case study of the MarthaStewart.com re-platforming project, which involved tens of developers, and a team of no less than six experienced project managers, including Martha Stewart's Drew Harteveld, and Lullabot's Seth Brown.
12th–14th October 2011