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2009-06-13

Agile Modeling in Software Projects

Recently Jeff Sutherland mentioned another certification for software programmers since Scrum does not include software engineer techniques but very present in XP (extreme programming) management. That is probably the reason why many software developers work with Scrum and XP methodologies together.

However although XP is very software-programming oriented it is still not enough to have a good software design in large systems projects. Additionally in many organizations it is very difficult to find a product owner that fully understand the business rules and can manage the software functionalities.

In order to efficiently use Scrum, there must be someone responsible for understanding the business. If there is no product owner, one employee must be chosen to study and logically model the business. That is exactly why a good business modeling is imperative before any large software development.

Good software design and business understanding prevents or reduces significantly re-work tasks. It is considered wasted work since these tasks do not devliver anything useful to the client and often happens when developers did not captured well the business rules.

Thus the following software development process is proposed to match DDD and agile approach. In this software process, there can be product owners, developers and scrum masters just like original Scrum the difference is that before the sprints (see Scrum reference) can start, a long DDD session is necessary in order to produce a good business model.

Briefly describing the following steps should be taken:

  1. A selected person assumes the role of Product Owner
  2. Product Owner becomes responsible for studying and building a business model
  3. Product Owner writes all the system features using User Stories (from XP)
  4. Product Owner schedules a Planning Meeting with the Scrum Master and Developers to present User Stories and the Business Model
  5. Scrum Master schedules a Sprint Meeting with developers to plan the Next Sprint based on the Stories
  6. Developers begin the Sprint (from 1 to 2 weeks)
  7. Scrum Master Organizes Daily Meetings with Developers (just like Scrum)
  8. At the end of the Spring, Scrum Master schedules a Weekly Meeting to present the system to the Product Owner but it also includes the developers of the project who makes considerations about the system presented
  9. Scrum Master organized a Retrospective Meeting with the developers to discuss what went wrong or right with the Sprint and then they start planning the next Sprint.
  10. Go to Step 6 until Product Owner gets satisfied
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