Most recently we came across a project that had the cart rolling at warp speed. At one end there were flow of new use cases, on the other there were change requirements at a wits end. All that slapped with a hard deadline for product and marketing launch. I definitely used some “LOL’s” in my imaginary bubble for psychological relief sometimes.

The biggest challenge we face often with non IT clients is to constantly educate them on the software development life cycle. Often the PM role becomes more like a church priest preaching the same verse over and over again on clients losing their faith very easily.

In the world of Agile Scrum and fast paced sprints, QA and stability of the build is often lost amidst the race to impress management with new features and ROI on budget. We often struggle to make clients or management understand the need for sanity, the need for stabilizing builds and data communication processes. Testing needs to be automated, API’s and services need to have fault tolerant mechanism and hangover alerts.

I have recently told a client in a long Friday evening meeting that we need to “Freeze” the code and not take in new features so we can go through immense QA, load testing to ensure a stable build. The outcome was fanatic, almost a crusade, he jumped with his sword and martial art skills on the table and reminded in a strong way that he is financing the project and he has the final say over managing what needs to be done and when. Imagine if it was a construction project, we would have floors all stacked up, windows all thrown in, patched and ready for launch. It’s almost an art and one requires century old Shaolinquan (meditative Kungfu from Shaolin, China) to bring out a great product from an ever changing scope.

Not that I am against Agile, it’s a great way for continuous development, but there needs to be a mix of waterfall where we finalize scope and sprint and follow a thorough full cycle QA process and definitely freeze development few weeks before launch so the team can focus on regression testing and making sure the product that’s going out to the market will take the end user for an amazing ride (user experience).

 Now that all the frustrations are laid out here, its happy Friday and we can jump on to the nearest bar for a crisp pint of Hefeweizen, steaming off the hard work and making the most needed mental connection for the next big project.

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