Life Tech

LifeTech is a GemstoneProject to run the pension policies of CSLife. It was started by MassimoArnoldi, GiovanniMueller?, and MarkusBieri. It currently also employs KentBeck, LaraPfyffer?, WilliDuerig and MichaelPilawa?. It uses GemStone and VisualWorks ...

LifeTech uses RelentlessTesting and PiecemealGrowth, but it doesn't do any estimation or tracking, prefering instead to wait until the software is ready before putting it into production. Is this extreme? If you have been following the XP saga here on Wiki, please weigh in with your vote but don't sign it if you don't want to.

I don't understand this. You should never put software into production until it is ready. So, this has nothing to do with estimation and tracking. If you don't estimate how much work it will take to develop something, how can the customers decide whether it is worthwhile to develop it? The only reason you would not estimate is because you have no choice in which features you are going to develop or the order in which you are going to develop them. I bet this is just an excuse, and the real reason is something else.

Congratulations, LifeTech, for trying to be Extreme, and for caring whether you are. However, without estimation and tracking, there's big trouble over the next hill. The customer loses in this situation, because they don't find out how hard things are, and can't keep improving decisions on what to do and when to do it. The result is likely to be old-fashioned back-room negotiations on what will be done, and pressure about deadlines instead of sensible fact-based decision-making. Thus development loses too. Keep trying! -- RonJeffries

Short delivery intervals, continual communication with stakeholders, will reduce project risk dollars to that part of the project already completed. Stakeholders have the right to pull the plug at any time. Developers are stakeholders.

I always imagine stakeholders as those folks standing outside a burning castle in a vampire movie... -- PeterGoodall

Is there any more news on this? Last update was in 2001.


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