The majority of our big projects follow the scrum methodology. I won’t bore you with the details of scrum, as there are various good sources around the Internet. I’ll just provide some of the more interesting things we have learnt from using it for a few years.
1) A one-week sprint is not long enough.
No matter how good your intentions, you never end up with anything finished in one week. The overhead just becomes too much.
2) Hold a pre-planning session.
On big projects, planning the stories for a two-week sprint can become a chore and people get bored very quickly. The lead developer on the project should sit down with the PM before the session and write the stories and the basis for the acceptance criteria. Planning sessions will go much quicker after this.
3) A developer must commit to a story.
When pointing a story, the developer doing the work must commit to the work being done. The PM should have no influence on how long story X will take. // Need to explain why
4) Make your project manager / scrum master read the Mythical Man Month .
Just because you add a developer to a team, does not mean you will finish it quicker. We generally find that you shouldn’t have more than 3/4 dev’s in one team. It just becomes onerous after that.
5) Ensure the Lead Developer on the project has an understanding partner!
Enough Said. (Sorry, Hazel made me write this.)