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Expand-Contract in the Spiral Model

(This is a slide show. You really won't get 
anything out of it unless you have a graphical web browser with graphics turned 
on.)

An important idea not readily found in the literature is that of contraction as an ongoing part of the process. It can take place within an hour, within a cycle, or perhaps every other cycle -- ideally it should happen on multiple time scales.

Horror Story

One company insisted that Smalltalk development proceed in strict accordance with traditional waterfall project management techniques. They used a large consulting company's design methodology, which enforced waterfall project management.

Upon staffing up with experienced Smalltalk consultants for the implementation phase, they were horrified to discover that their Smalltalk experts were unanimous in declaring that certain locked-in design decisions were inappropriate for a Smalltalk project. They were unwilling to re-examine their design, and so instead switched to a different implementation vehicle (which was, surprisingly enough, supplied by the large consulting company that sold them the design methodology).

Outcome: when last we checked, project was about 18 months behind schedule, and had consumed 16 times the resource of the original Smalltalk project plan.

Moral: be prepared to change your development and management style, and avoid raising unrealistic expectations.

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