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Background

I'm an IT Manager leading a team of 7 , I have been in the company for a year now and doing fine with Agile.

Problem

The business doesn't feel like we're doing fine. They feel that we are not producing our work fast enough. One of the main reasons is the unrealistic timeframe given by business where we try to deliver within that timeframe, but fail. This has caused great damage to our reputation

Questions

How would you handle situation where the company suddenly just hires someone who comes in and changes everything, taking us from Agile to non Agile environment?

closed as off-topic by gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Chris E, Dawny33, AndreiROM Apr 27 '16 at 14:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Real questions have answers. Rather than explaining why your situation is terrible, or why your boss/coworker makes you unhappy, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, click here." – gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Chris E, Dawny33, AndreiROM
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Before deadlines are set make it absolutely clear that they won't be met and be prepared to explain why. Changing "methodologies" won't help and is likely not the cause of problems here. If I were you, I would play by the new rules (which are obviously set by higher management) but be straight and honest about the deadlines. – ren Apr 26 '16 at 16:18
  • Are you really following an agile process? Agree what you can deliver in a short period of time (a week? two weeks?), deliver it, repeat. My experience is that the business is much happier in an agile environment because they can see features being added in real-time. – TheMathemagician Apr 26 '16 at 16:18
  • I dont quite understand what they are trying to do. The waterfall method tends to be much slower and you dont get to see anything untill the end of the process. The main reason for wanting to use the waterfall method is to set the time you spend and money you spend in stone. Even though it usually gets past the deadline by around 10%... do they even know the difference between agile and waterfall? are they just trying to shake things up on purpose? 0.o – Migz Apr 26 '16 at 16:22
  • ya guys , i'm very sad :( and plus so many documents have to fill up , it doesn't make any sense to me , i think i'm just going to look for new job – LArcenCiel Apr 26 '16 at 16:24
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    When you say that your bosses are asking for reports of information which already exists in the ticketing system and say that "there's no point" you're making a huge mistake. Don't confuse the existence of information with availability of information. If I were the manager I wouldn't want to go digging through the ticketing system either. I would want to open a report which clearly and neatly outlines exactly the points of data I'm interested in. – AndreiROM Apr 27 '16 at 14:09
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I'm going to be a little brutal, here:

You've already lost control of the situation. There's not much you can do to "handle" it.

This isn't about methodologies. A protracted debate about "Agile vs. Waterfall" is not going to help in any way.

What this is about is communication. Somehow or another, the unrealistic deadlines were communicated to customers (be they internal or external) as valid, and you failed to correct that perception. While you may have managed well, the end result is that you did not meet expectations, and now you have lost perceived value as a manager. I can't say whether that perception is right or wrong, but it exists, and you have to address that.

I would examine more closely how your time estimates were ignored, and the unreasonable ones were accepted, and determine what you can or could have done to correct that.

As to what you can do now, it depends at what level the new hire came in at. Is the new hire your superior? Then you're going with waterfall. I don't envy you, but it's what's going to happen.

You need to rebuild your credibility. Nothing else is really germane at this point.

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    This is exactly correct. My thought as I was reading the question was, "this is a communication problem, not a planning problem." When the business said, we want X done by June, nobody pushed back and said, "unfortunately, your requirements add up to 450 points. We are a 50 point team. Consequently, we need 9 sprints, which is almost 4.5 months. So, we can either reduce requirements, or increase deadline. Which would you prefer?" My experience has been Agile drastically increases the business understanding of the work required to complete a project, and makes them more flexible not less. – MealyPotatoes Apr 26 '16 at 16:45
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    Seeing the previous questions that LArcenCiel has asked before. A communication problem is extremely likely. I dont know how much this company has changed. But if these are the kind of changes they are making, there is not much you can do. Not to mention that it's going to take a while to get used to the waterfall method. – Migz Apr 26 '16 at 16:50
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    Thanks for the honest answer guys , it might take sometime for me to get adjusted too for this model, down the line i might just look elsewhere, could be a lesson learn from me for being too kind to the business, task got pile up and plus with a dictator boss that hard to convince pff.. calling a time out – LArcenCiel Apr 26 '16 at 17:02
  • @MealyPotatoes / Migz do you guys experience anything similar? Fail on something similar? if yes how you guys move on from there? – LArcenCiel Apr 27 '16 at 1:33
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Don't take this one personally. I read a statistic recently that MOST software projects fail. If you're turning over any work, you're doing great.

Agile isn't a magic bullet. I've been in places where I've heard analysts say, "Oh, we'll just agile it", which meant that requirements weren't done so they intended to do them after the developers got assigned the work. I think it takes a great leadership to apply agile correctly but it probably turns out no better than waterfall in most cases.

As to your question, I'd say, "WHATEVER!" and just make sure my paychecks are still coming.

  • This is the everyone is a winner mentality... No most projects do not fail. Most projects succeed but the product fails – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 26 '16 at 18:42
  • I agree with @Chad What happens with a lot of software products is that the requirements are not well established and the end product is not as useful as it should have been (thus considered a "failure"). But in truth the failure happened at the decision making level, when the specs were badly outlined. – AndreiROM Apr 27 '16 at 14:13
  • I don't understand the negative votes or how this isn't a similar solution to the answer getting all the votes. We've all seen projects fail for reasons outside of the development team, but they're still considered failures since they are not on time and/or on budget. – user8365 Apr 27 '16 at 14:58
  • @JeffO but most projects do not fail... If the OP wants to rework the answer to be constructive then ill consider reversing my vote – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 27 '16 at 15:08
  • @Chad I would sooner stand on my head than change my answer for somebody who apparently hasn't done his "homework". Software project failures are very well documented, but I guess it's far easier to downvote me than to do a Google search. – Xavier J Apr 27 '16 at 15:22

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