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Techniques   »   Models   »   Iterative Modelling


Iterative Modelling

Iterative Modelling is a technique used to build, present, adjust and re-present models and early prototyped options for a project to illustrate, broaden and confirm its understanding of a requirement or a possible solution.

Think of iterative modelling also as buying information about your project. As you uncover the detail of your true project objectives and the pluses and minuses of the various project approaches with early prototypes you are spending project funds wisely in the pursuit of the exact understanding of an issue.

This effort will seek to reduce a projects uncertainty about the probable success of a particular solution, swell the knowledge and understanding of the team and seek to minimise the incidence of project failure.

If you enjoy mathematics then a short breather into the depths of the posthumously published Bayes Probability Theorem will give some numeric endorsement to continue your projects spending efforts to try out and example options before deciding on a specific solution or approach.

If you do not relax by delving into mathematics then take our word for it: iterative modelling is of maximum value to the project and a bit of right brain judgement will suffice.

Iterative modelling is useful for planning your timeboxes, to envision what you wish to deliver and to try out the different approaches to satisfying the challenge. The models also improve our estimates and bolster our estimating process. Furthermore, they also support the Just-In-Time Development efforts of the project and allow us to swiftly see the possible outcomes in draft format before immediately embarking upon the chosen approach.

The process of Iterative modelling also supports our approach to welcome change and allow solutions to emerge from changing requirements and targets. We model then we assess and we develop then we assess, gradually shaping the solution trying out options as we progress and delivering just enough to get the planned result without extra effort and waste.

Iterative modelling can also be used to establish Strategy, by performing early delivery of broad considered elements of a strategy which are known and understood. This is then used as a basis on which added elements are built to formulate strategy using positive and negative feedback from customers, colleagues and partners. One technique to adopt to perform Iterative Modelling in this scenario is to create models in front of the user personnel. This demands a high level of capability and expertise on the part of the developer. It also demands a high level of understanding of the proposed solution on the part of the user personnel. Working in pairs in this way can minimise the amount of time taken to prepare models for group assessment and debate. Furthermore, it supports the empowerment ethos of agile working while freeing the rest of the team to labour on other tasks. This technique is very similar to pair programming.

Pair Programming

Pair programming is a software development technique used on agile projects to swiftly deliver software solutions and to assist rapid identification and correction of coding error. During the pair programming exercise, two programmers sit working together at one PC or terminal. One programmer is given the role of driver while the other is the observer. The driver types in the code and the observer reviews the code. It is normal for the programmers to alternate roles throughout the pair programming session. The driver is allowed to concentrate on the detail of the code and in the physical task of entering the code as efficiently as possible. The observer is therefore permitted the freedom to assess the overall design of the code and to propose improvements and problems to avoid. This role helps to guide the design as well as provide early warning of those minor coding errors that very often cause major assessment and testing challenges.
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