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Agile in maintenance environment, not in development environment. How?

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Hi all, I want to ask something about agile planning. One of my friend (not in gamedev) said, his main tasks are bug fixing and usually it must be fix immediately, that's why he can't use any sprint, milestone, or anything from agile and actually he do his planning daily. What we should do with agile development in this kind of environment? Thanks.

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Well since he is not in a development environment, development procedures aren't going to be a good fit for what he does. The only thing that may make sense is pair programming since two heads are better than one but I bet his department wouldn't like the loss of half their department even if it meant they produced better bug fixes.

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I don't see any particular reason why maintenance is different from production in terms of agile's applicability.

In a maintenance environment, there should always be a list of outstanding issues, along with prioritization of each. This is typically handled by bug tracking software; there's a million packages out there and simple ones can be developed in a few days, so there's no excuse for not using one.

Hallway meetings (a typical agile/scrum tool) should consist of:
  1. Learning of a bug (acquiring a user story describing the issue)

  2. Prioritization/triage of the new issue and recording it in the bug database

  3. Optionally, a recap of current progress


Then you have a sprint; in his case, sprints can be hours or maybe a day or three long. In each sprint, he finishes the highest-priority bugs and any other issues he has time for. Then a release is built, tested, and moved to production.

So there you have it - agile maintenance. Yes, you have to bend the parameters a bit (shorter sprints, slightly different methodology) but so what? The point is that agile is a tool to help respond quickly, which actually is fairly similar to what a (good) maintenance team does anyways. In fact, he may already be doing it and not knowing it [wink]

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Thanks guys for the replies.

@ApochPiQ,
I agree with you, I've tried to explain almost the same thing to my friend, but you came out with much better explanation. I'll forward your post to him :)
Thanks again.

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