This paper, Agile and Crystal Clear with Library IT Innovations, is written by the Head of Library IT Services at the University of Maryland (May Chang). I found it because it was one of the conference papers from VALA 2010 Conference held in Melbourne.
The article is about project management where some of the projects involve software development. She reviews a few development models and explains why she has chosen the "adaptive" or Agile approach:
Agile is an approach to system design and development based on incremental and iterative processes. It also refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.
The values of Agile practictioners are:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
- Working software over comprehensive documentation.
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
- Responding to change over following a plan.
The author goes into more detail about Agile methodologies and also discusses the Crystal methodologies for how best to manage a project. In short, the concept is that the smaller the project team and the least critical the project, the less format the project management needs to be. And, as criticality or the size of the team increases, processes and practices need to be more formalized.
I thought the article was inspiring and though-provoking. I think everyone involved with software development and/or project management will benefit from reading this article.