Howard van Rooijen’s Blog : PDD (Post-It Driven Development) – My first foray into Agile

by oneafrikan on July 20, 2005

_ Howard van Rooijen’s Blog : PDD (Post-It Driven Development) – My first foray into Agile

In mid 2002 I was asked if I wanted to do a couple of days consulting for a client who wanted to create a small e-learning tool using Microsoft Content Management Server. I%u2019d just finished working on two consecutive MS CMS projects, so I didn%u2019t think a third would really hurt. The term a %u201Ccouple of days%u201D is almost legendary now; as the project actually lasted 18 months and mutated from a %u201Csmall e-learning tool%u201D to a large localised e-learning tool that had tens of thousands of users and was deployed globally. It was a tough gig, but ultimately one of the most rewarding projects I%u2019ve ever worked on and possibly the one that has the fondest memories.

This is a really good view of what an Agile project could and should look like, although obviously at the time it wasn’t called that. A good read if you’re looking for real world examples / descriptions of Agile development, as well as what it should look like from a developers point of view. Take home is the importance of having business buy in to ensure that the project succeeds, and managers that know how to let developers develop without getting in the way.


Its an Agile process called SCRUM, not sure why the author of the post didn’t mention that. Though he does refer to a SCRUM Master, the SCRUM equivalent of a project manager. Very similar to the process used at my previous employer, and definetly can work well if there is sufficient management buy-in, which is paramount to success. Highly skilled and disciplined developers are also required.

by IrishAfrican on July 21, 2005 at 1:44 am. Reply #

Yea, all of the above. I often wonder how many businesses (read: enterprises) are locking down their talent with archaic processes and underfed / underutilised developers managed by dumbass project managers who don’t understand them. Same for the business: if they just knew what they needed, they’d already be further along then they are now!!

Seems to me that a lot of people/teams are already operating in this way – I know our team in CT does a lot of the same already – but having an analagy helps to define what success looks like better.


by Gareth Knight on July 21, 2005 at 2:33 am. Reply #

The project wasn’t really “Scrum” because we’d never heard of it or Agile until early 2004.

We were unknowingly doing something very similar. Hence why in the post I was trying to point out the similarities of the roles and routines we fell into and the defined roles and ceremonies that are part and parcel of Scrum.

I’ve since become a Certified Scrum Master, used it on several subsequent projects, trained others to use it and am currently part of a Team at Conchango, who are writing a Scrum Methodology plug-in for Visual Studio Team System with Ken Schwaber (the co-creator of Scrum).

Thanks for the link and the comments!

by Howard van Rooijen on July 21, 2005 at 8:15 am. Reply #

Sounds cool Howard – could you keep us posted of that plugin for VSTS?

I was lucky enough to go to a SCRUM briefing with Ken earlier this year ( and think it’s pretty cool if you can get all the variables that it depends on to work well together. If not, you’re back to the lovely waterfall…

by Gareth Knight on July 22, 2005 at 1:29 am. Reply #

Keep an eye on my blog – more details will appear over the coming weeks…

by Howard van Rooijen on July 22, 2005 at 6:51 am. Reply #

Cool – thanks – got your RSS feed…

by Gareth Knight on July 22, 2005 at 7:26 am. Reply #

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