Subscribe by Email

Sunday, June 14, 2015

External components: Sending one's own proposed schedule

This is something that happens in larger software development organizations. Typically, there would be multiple teams within the organization, responsible for specialized stuff. For example, a number of organizations have separate teams installer and build process since that is a function reasonable similar across multiple teams / software applications; there are many common components dealing with technical requirements that are common across applications - such as parsers, decoders, encoders, imaging libraries, document readers, and so on (the list of common technical stuff can be pretty large).
When an organization has multiple software development teams, there will be different schedules for the teams, with many of these schedules being widely different form the other teams. There will also be different priorities for these teams, with some products having a higher priority while other products may not be so important for the component team - this is also dependent on the money making capabilities and strategic importance of the various products within the organization. In addition, with different schedules for different teams, and the component team having a different schedule from our own team, reconciling the schedules in order to ensure that the product quality is good enough to take the component at the time of incorporating the schedule.

Consider an example:
Team XYZ - the team in which we are working
Schedule for team XYZ - Start in Feb, take component of high quality by July and release product by October

Component team - Need to take a component from this team
Schedule for component team: Previous component will release by January; next release will be in December

With these schedules being out of sync, taking a component where features have been incorporated and a good quality level being achieved looks difficult. There is no option to change the schedule of the component team, since they are in sync with another product, and that product has a higher priority. So what can be done ?
Well, this sort of schedule mismatches can happen fairly often, and there are solutions possible. Essentially, there is a need for having an ongoing communication between both the teams. The component team should be fully aware of our schedules, including the timeline by which an initial version of the component would be required, more versions to be taken with defect fixes, and a final version of the component.
In the end, there will be compromises needed to be made, with some features that could be taken, others that could not be taken for the current release, and if necessary, a fork made in the development of the component where a minimal set of features would be taken up and provided to our team.

No comments:

Facebook activity