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Let's say, we have a project with:

  • a well defined user interface
  • the application's features specified in details
  • backoffice, where the data comes from.

The backoffice development takes less then the interface creation. The programmers don't know about the data structure what they will receive from the BO. The features specified depends in 80% on the BO.

What is the best solution?

  1. Give the developers the interface to begin the creation, knowing that they won't finish until the BO development and data structuring will come. It's possible in this case to: work less then the expectations (UI highly depends on the data structure from the BO)
  2. Give the developers the interface creation and the whole project only when the BO development and structuring finished. In this case - if the project is urgent - it's possible to have delays on some tasks, or even the whole project.
  3. Solution somewhere the first to: to give the developers the UI, but the condition to do only what they can finish until the BO development, and when the BO comes, the app development can start with 100% power.

Did you ever met with this kind of problem? How did you solve it and with success or fail?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I suggest to introduce a bit closer collaboration between the two sites. For example, you can have a week long iteration starting on Mondays. Monday morning the two offices organise a video conference where they decide what they want to do the next week. This is some kind of a work break down, which should follow the idea of "vertical slicing with a bit of shifting":

vertical slicing

The vertical slicing means that a portion of work contains one small piece from each layer: UI, SOA, and Data. The diagram above presents the idea for a single team, but you have at least two teams - front office and back office you need to change it a little bit.

During that week the back office creates a small portion of their work, and deliver that work to the front office the next week. The front office knows what tho expect the next week and can build the UI on that small portion. The front office will always behind the back office, but with the iterations, the planning meeting and work break down they have only one week disadvantage. You can reduce this disadvantage by asking the back office to deliver a small mockup of their planned work, which the UI team can use - we successfully used this technique in several large projects.

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Thank you Zsolt, it was very useful :) –  meszar.imola Nov 7 '12 at 8:28
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