Manheim is a dealer to dealer auto auction business under Cox Enterprise. Within the organization’s halls live two houses of delivering software-Waterfall and Agile. Both houses live independently and peacefully for the most part, but in the Arbitrations project they collided head on in a business must have deliverable. In the presentation I’ll explain some background on what our current Agile practices are and how they contrasted with the Waterfall approach. I will also provide an overview of the project and then dive into the challenges this project sewed. These ranged from the complexity of the project, old technology that pillared key systems and the cultural practices of the Waterfall team. However, to meet these challenges I executed some game plans that were part of our normal Agile team playbook and some that were conceived outside the box.
For example some of these efforts were I brought in the Waterfall QA lead early on to create an Agile sympathizer. Next, I sent some of my team members over to the Waterfall side to help fill out the QA team there. This helped to inject more Agile influence in the Waterfall decision making process. I also volunteered to be the QA lead over the whole project which definitely helped lean decisions in an Agile direction.
As always you could have done things better. We should have had more of a huddle type meeting in the beginning of the project. This would have defrosted some of the cultural prejudices the Waterfall group had towards my Agile team. There also wasn’t enough transparency in how each team’s practices could have their strengths leveraged to improve the project evolution.
Along with the items above there are others I list out in a retrospective format at the end of the presentation. It is my feeling that every member of the audience no matter if they are a beginner or more mature in following the Agile ways will get something out of this presentation. This is true even if they are currently in a project of this nature where Agile and Waterfall are both heavily involved or they are about to dive into one.