- They had to balance between features/bug fixes.
- The deployment was taken care of by the respective sponsors, not the teams.
- They had issues with sprint backlog management.
They highlighted some aspects with great emphasis:-
- Open communication is the key to success.
- Onsite and full time real user availability is very important for such a big project.
- Automated tests, partial pair programming and continuous integration is a big plus.
- Staying co-located was really helpful.
What about scaling beyond?
- I asked them, if they felt it would still be a similar success if there had been 12 teams or even more with 200 people or so. They said, it would be challenging. But in response, they also said, following waterfall would make life much harder with such a big team, if at all it could be a success at the first place! Yes, I also believe this.
- One of the audiences asked if they outsourced a part of the project and the response was 'No'. CGI has a big team in India with a very high CMM ranking, but the project manager and asst. project manager said, it would be much difficult for differing time zones. Also, it would be difficult to transfer the knowledge as well as replicate the value of onsite client presence. The development manager also added that, the cultural difference between an agile and CMM setup would also been an issue if they had to go for the off-shore team.
The session was much more eventful than what I could compile. So, if you are anywhere near Calgary and interested about meeting agile practitioners from the industry, lets meet at the next meet!