A Practical Approach to Large-Scale Agile Development: How HP Transformed LaserJet FutureSmart Firmware

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Addison-Wesley, Nov 15, 2012 - Computers - 208 pages
Today, even the largest development organizations are turning to agile methodologies, seeking major productivity and quality improvements. However, large-scale agile development is difficult, and publicly available case studies have been scarce. Now, three agile pioneers at Hewlett-Packard present a candid, start-to-finish insider’s look at how they’ve succeeded with agile in one of the company’s most mission-critical software environments: firmware for HP LaserJet printers.

This book tells the story of an extraordinary experiment and journey. Could agile principles be applied to re-architect an enormous legacy code base? Could agile enable both timely delivery and ongoing innovation? Could it really be applied to 400+ developers distributed across four states, three continents, and four business units? Could it go beyond delivering incremental gains, to meet the stretch goal of 10x developer productivity improvements?

It could, and it did—but getting there was not easy.

Writing for both managers and technologists, the authors candidly discuss both their successes and failures, presenting actionable lessons for other development organizations, as well as approaches that have proven themselves repeatedly in HP’s challenging environment. They not only illuminate the potential benefits of agile in large-scale development, they also systematically show how these benefits can actually be achieved.

Coverage includes:
• Tightly linking agile methods and enterprise architecture with business objectives
• Focusing agile practices on your worst development pain points to get the most bang for your buck
• Abandoning classic agile methods that don’t work at the largest scale
• Employing agile methods to establish a new architecture
• Using metrics as a “conversation starter” around agile process improvements
• Leveraging continuous integration and quality systems to reduce costs, accelerate schedules, and automate the delivery pipeline
• Taming the planning beast with “light-touch” agile planning and lightweight long-range forecasting
• Implementing effective project management and ensuring accountability in large agile projects
• Managing tradeoffs associated with key decisions about organizational structure
• Overcoming U.S./India cultural differences that can complicate offshore development
• Selecting tools to support quantum leaps in productivity in your organization
• Using change management disciplines to support greater enterprise agility

 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Agile Principles versus Practices
1
Chapter 2 Tuning Agile to Your Business Objectives
9
Chapter 3 Aligning Architecture with Business Objectives
17
Chapter 4 How to Establish a New Architecture Using Agile Concepts
27
Chapter 5 The Real Secret to Success in LargeScale Agile
35
Chapter 6 Continuous Integration and Quality Systems
45
Chapter 7 Taming the Planning Beast
67
Chapter 8 Unique Challenges of Estimating Large Innovations
91
Chapter 11 Effective Agile Development across US and Indian Cultures
117
Quantum Leaps in Productivity
127
HP FutureSmart Firmware
141
Chapter 14 Change Management in Moving Toward Enterprise Agility
149
Chapter 15 Differences in Our Perspective on Scaling Agile
159
Chapter 16 Taking the First Step
167
Twelve Principles of Agile Software
173
Bibliography
175

Chapter 9 Our Take on Project Management for LargeScale Agile
101
Managing to Disadvantages
107

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About the author (2012)

Gary Gruver is formerly the Director of Engineering for HP’s LaserJet Core Firmware Lab, and he worked at HP for 22 years. He is currently VP of Release, QA, and Operations at macys.com. Any major initiative needs a true business sponsor—someone who has truly caught the vision of agile, and who can make the business and financial decisions necessary to get huge breakthroughs to happen. Gary has also been able to bring a “manage to metrics” approach that rallies everyone to common measurable objectives without requiring lots of meeting and coordination overhead. Of course, his most critical role is buying lunch during particularly busy sprints for anyone working weekends to finish off key features. His favorite hobbies are cycling and skiing with family (he’s married with two daughters).

Mike Young is the program manager directing day-to-day efforts across our many distributed teams at HP’s LaserJet Core Firmware Lab. Mike has been involved in development of HP LaserJet Printers for 18 years, and he previously designed satellite control systems for Hughes Aircraft Company. He also is one of the strongest advocates of agile approaches and helped get the organization started down this path before anyone really knew we were doing agile. His hobbies are family (he’s married, with two daughters and two sons) and playing racquetball. In agile, we’ve found that a program manager should spend most of his/her time watching the metrics and quietly coordinating behind-the-scenes to cater to the bottleneck. In our sprint checkpoints, we tend to minimize slideware and maximize problem solving and demos of new user stories.

Pat Fulghum is architect of the HP LaserJet FutureSmart firmware and its development team’s agile toolset. Pat’s been at HP for 24 years. He found out during the past few years that his favorite escape is scuba diving in Maui with his family (he is married and has a son and a daughter). A large-scale agile initiative requires a central architect who can help maintain architectural integrity amid many pressures to do otherwise (which keeps the system enabled for the future) and who has the vision for making sure the architecture supports both firmware development and qualification. Pat still loves to get in and dig deep to solve vexing technical challenges. He also loves to find developer productivity improvements (build time, triage time) and has been the passion behind our “10x productivity improvement” vision.


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