One way of thinking

So, before we get to an analysis of Scrum, and what I consider its deficiencies for the type of work that I’m involved in, we’ll go and have a look at some other Agile Project Management methodologies.

One I found a little while ago, Anamorphic Web Development, sounds interesting. However, let’s dig a little into what it proposes.

Development begins almost immediately after conceptualization.

Right away, I can see problems. Too many times I’ve started projects before adequate planning and thinking has occurred. It’s like starting a road trip without looking at the map. You’ll manage to gain lots of distance, but it could be in the wrong direction.

The distinguishing factor of anamorphic web development is that the project continually and rapidly evolves or “morphs” to fit the needs of the client and end users, while trying to maintain its original concept and scope.

It’s this balance between original design and the morphing that can really cause problems. Like trying to hit a moving target, there’s not enough time to let the project settle down into a stable state because ideas keep getting grafted onto the original specification.

It is very important to note a clear and concise separation of the framework development phase and the features development phase …

Hang on, if you start development straight away after conceptualisation then does that mean a framework is already available for the programmers to work on? So we’re looking at a development project using a pre-built base, like WordPress.

I don’t have a problem with starting development early and producing prototypes, but without some clear idea of where the project is going then scope creep becomes a major issue. So, how does Anamorphic Web Development deal with creeping freaturism?

anamorphic projects are usually billed incrementally (monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly), due to the nature of the methodology …

That’s how. Let the client go wild with design features until they run out of money. Down side, they may end up with only half of what they had originally desired because the added extra crunchy features and tangents mean that they won’t get their original design completed.

At least the down side is clearly stated in the defining website. I can’t see how it’s going to work when we live in a world of clients who want estimates and quotes before work is approved.

So, we’ll leave Anamorphic Web Development. It really just sounds like a formalised pay by the hour project management methodology: contracting and consulting. Not a lot of theoretical design has gone into the system, it might work for them, but not for us.

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