Are You Working on an Agile Project? Should You Be?

by May 25, 2015


At EDW this year Ron Huizenga, Product Manager for ER/Studio, and I led a SIG discussion about working on agile projects…as a data modeler. As usual, this resulted in a lot of frustration being voiced from data modelers about:

  • Not being wanted on the voyage
  • Being treated like obstacles to getting stuff done
  • Being confused by terminology and expectations that differ from 1980s approach to data modeling
  • Being frustrated because perfectly good data models are ignore
  • Being frustrated because we modelers are often excluded from agile projects…and the data quality shows it.
  • …and more…

The most important tip for data modelers working on agile projects is to go read and memorize the Agile Manifesto. The is the foundation of agile software development and you'll hear it quoted often on these projects. It's important that you be able to quote it back at times, too.  "We aren't waterfalll; we're iterative" works both ways.  "Just the right aobut of documentation" does not mean "no documentation".  You can read up on SCRUM, XP, and Kanban while you are at it. You'll find parts of these on every agile project.

Coming on 23 June, I'll be leading a webinar on Is Your Data Modeling Workflow Agile or Fragile? Over the last 7 years or so all my projects have been Agile, SCRUM, or some sort of mish-mash of those new approaches. I'll be talking about the things I've learned to overcome the bullet points above. I'll also be joined by Rob Loranger, Product Manager at Embarcadero, who will demo some of the new features in ER/Studio that support agile data modeling workflows. Registration will open soon for the event. As always, we will make it fun, interactive and engaging.

I'd love to hear some of your observations about working (or not working) on agile projects. Just leave them in the comments section below.