I bet they'd invent a great language for smells.

Book for system development for difficult customers

What is a good book that covers software/system development when the customer is constantly changing requirements.

I need a development process with pragmatic suggestions, framework on how I can deliver software incrementally/quickly and keep the customer at bay.

There are just so many acronims XP, Agile, Scrum, etc... which one do I need to solve this problem.
Permalink Old Greek C++ Monkey 
August 31st, 2005
The heavier the better.
(to hit them with)

Seriously, you might want to listen to Juval Lowy's talk he did in Israel on project planning and tracking. I burned it to a couple of CDs and have been listening to it in the car this week.

(scroll down to the one from 24/8/05)

Basically, you need to make it clear to them that every time they change their mind, the schedule slips. Even worse -- every time they even *ask* for a feature change, that's a day gone with the developers sitting in a meeting to decide if it's possible to do.

So far as development cycles, somewhere between 4 and 6 weeks is pretty good. You just need to get them to trust you for that length of time, because once they sign off on the dev cycle, changes are locked out until it finishes.

If you can't get them to commit to 4 weeks, find another job -- There's insufficient trust in the organization for you to succeed.
Permalink example 
August 31st, 2005
I would personally recommend starting with Extreme Programming Explained. I would also join the XP and Agile Manegement lists on Yahoo! Groups. The XP group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/extremeprogramming) is open to all sorts of questions like that, and regularly has comments from Kent Beck, Ron Jeffries and Alastair Cockburn.

XP seems like it could be a good fit for you. The best suggestion I have would be to read through the book, and join the lists, and think about what you are trying to achieve, then implement those things. For example, you mention incremental development and changing requirements. Then you probably want to focus on short iterations and user stories.

There's an awesome community out there willing to help, so don't be afraid to ask.

Does this help?
Permalink Cory Foy 
August 31st, 2005
Yes, guys, this is the kind of advice I was looking for. Thank you. And keep it coming it.
Permalink Old Greek C++ Monkey 
August 31st, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

Other topics: August, 2005 Other topics: August, 2005 Recent topics Recent topics