Many web design firms work on too many projects simultaneously. When these firms start using agile software development practices, it forces them to look for different solutions to develop and meet the needs of their customers. This article presents ideas to consider if you want your web development teams to focus on one project at a time.
Let me guess, you work in a small web design firm and are working on ten projects simultaneously. Your management team heard about Agile, thought it would be cool so they decided to hop on the bandwagon but somehow, it is still taking forever to deliver a single project. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Is it a frustrating situation for you and your team? There is a solution you know, it starts by imagining what could happen if you focused your people on one project at a time…
I worked with a few small companies in the last few years and before transitioning to using Agile practices, they used to spread their efforts across all their projects pretty much at once depending on which customer screamed the loudest.
Do you really need to focus on all these projects at once? The answer I usually get when I ask this question is because there is a need to meet customer commitments, but I found that often the real challenge is in how to properly manage customer expectations.
Figure 1 below shows the problem with working simultaneously on multiple projects is the high cost of context switching between each project. Each time team members switch projects, they must remember where they last left off and put themselves back in context. What may seem like a ten to fifteen minutes to get ready for your day actually has a multiplier effect when you touch many projects in a day.
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