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Managers can move personnel quickly between projects

18-11-2016 - 17:5008-06-2020 - 10:31

By defining the way specific processes are performed and specific work products are formatted, any person trained in the organizational process will know where to look for information and how to go about estimating common work. The amount of information maintained within the process means that managers can move personnel quickly between projects (or subprojects) without a great deal of retraining, and that a loss of key personnel will not necessarily doom a project. — Barry Boehm and Richard Turner in Balancing Agility and Discipline — A Guide for the Perplexed

I have never seen anything more stupid, even if it comes in straight line from Barry Boehm. This statement is defeated in many organizations and in countless projects. It is even defeated in simple life. It basically says that theory does not need practice. It says that a sportsman does not have to practice every day, it says that a pianist does not have to play his scales, it says that a developer does not have to code: only reading the books makes him proficient. That's the kind of statements we must combat, Agilists or not Agilists. HOWEVER … I must absolutely defend the idea of the need to have processes in place that "standardize" working methods - more than they set them! - in order to make it easier for those who have to act now to take over certain tasks that were not originally carried out by them.

I am used to thinking, in the documentation to be done, that I might be the next person to get my hands on it. So I think about anything that might help me in that regard. It turns out that many times I am indeed that person, even when I am at the origin of what has been thought, imagined, designed, implemented, etc. in the first place.


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