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I'm new to agile but would like to apply it's methodologies to a software project where we are tasked with converting a Mathcad document into a web application. We are typically a P&D organization

Are all the steps of Agile still applicable or would you tailor it. For instance do I still ask the client for a Business case and a product vision statement? Or do we skip that?

Would I still sit with the client and collaborate on user stories or do I reverse engineer them from the Mathcad functionality?

Or maybe Agile is not applicabale at all for such a project.

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Yes, Agile is applicable. Yes, follow all the steps.

Even though "converting a Mathcad document into a web application" sounds simple enough, things can get tricky. For example, are you going to try to make your web application look like Mathcad? Then you will be missing out on many things you can do in a web app that Mathcad cannot do. On the other hand, what if something that Mathcad can do is very expensive to implement exactly the same way on the web?

Not sure how you got the impression that as per Agile the client owes you a Business case and a product vision statement. Not true. You should designate a Product Owner, a Scrum Master and the Development team. And this team should sit together to create a shared product vision and a product backlog. Business Cases, roadmaps, release plans and so on can be created as needed. The Product Owner can coordinate with the client as well as other stakeholders.

By all means use the Mathcad application as a good starting point to extract user stories.

  • Through skillport.com I took this training called "Agile Planning: Project Initiating and Requirements Gathering" and it mentioned the first two required steps were the Business Case and Product Vision, to be performed by the client. Was I taught incorrectly? – jeff Nov 26 '13 at 21:59
  • @jeff: No, it's not wrong. The goal of these steps is to give you and your team a better idea of what you strive for. Though much of this is given by the existing application, there are open questions regarding the vision, as Ashok mentioned. Maybe there's no need for documents, but you should definitely talk about the client's vision. You may be surprised how much it differs from yours ;) – Sven Amann Nov 27 '13 at 8:55
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    @Ashok: Agile does not necessarily mean Scrum... – Sven Amann Nov 27 '13 at 8:57
  • @salsolatragus Agreed. I was recommending one Agile approach. OP can choose to pursue others. – Ashok Ramachandran Nov 27 '13 at 15:31

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