We were talking the other day about software products that are used to help the execution of projects in either an Agile or Traditional manner. In particular, the discussion was the difference in models used in JIRA versus Sciforma. JIRA follows the Agile or KanBan model while Sciforma follows the Traditional or Scheduled model. The difference between the two models seemed to be grounded in the concepts of whether planning is done in the temporal dimension. (i.e. have we created a preliminary schedule of when activities or tasks would be done and considered dependencies) In fact, you can’t plan in JIRA temporalily without buying add-on components like Tempo-Planner. (Which is probably where they ended up getting the name from)
Rugby versus Football
It then became apparent how good of an analogy Rugby versus Football is for Agile versus Traditional.
There were three important observations:
- Agile isn’t better than Traditional and Traditional isn’t better than Agile. They are fundamentally different games. The methods and objectives are different.
- Although both sports have positions and specializations, Rugby players play in 100% of the game (pending injury substitutions), while Football players typically play 50% of the game. This is similar to Football where there is more specilization and subsituting of players.
- And perhaps the biggest difference – Rugby is a game more built on flow and reaction, where Football is built more on set plays that are planned and scheduled. (See where I am going with this?)
The point again should be that the games and objectives are different and that one game is no better than the other one.
Agile versus Agenda
My next thought was if we could find a nice, short term for Traditional like Agile that helped to convey the difference between Agile and Traditional like the analogy of Rugby and Football did.
When we look at the definition of Agile, we get:
“relating to or denoting a method of project management, used especially for software development, that is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.”
It took me quite a while and lot of research, but I think I finally settled on Agenda. Agenda is a term I don’t believe I have heard used when discussing Sotware Development. When we look at the definition of Agenda, we get:
“a list or outline of things to be considered or done“
The important difference here is that an Agenda is a list with a temporal dimension. In addition, an Agenda is perceived to be an initial plan that is to be modified and added to as agreed to. In fact, the first item usually asked in all meetings that have an Agenda, is if the Agenda needs to be modified.
Perfect. Agenda Software Development. Like Agile Software Development, but with an initial planned schedule, outline, and temporal dimension.
Finally a term that conveys the accurate intent of Agile Software Development with a schedule. And that schedule is to be changed, modified, enhanced, and pivoted.
Yeah, Agenda Software Development. That’s the ticket. And in an Agenda Software Development project where Brett Favre, the gunslinger, is the Project Manager. Yea, that’s the ticket.