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Roll call: 5 questions for...Keith Collyer
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His interest in the "people" aspects led him into project management, quality assurance, and processes, never losing sight of the need to develop systems that meet real needs. This myriad of interests naturally led him to explore agile practices for systems engineers in our recently featured article Being agile while still being compliant.
Did you learn anything from writing your article and what was it?
I learnt that it isn't that hard to use agile in a regulated industry, providing you adopt a disciplined approach and define clearly what you want to achieve.
Why and how can agile and architecture co-exist?
They not only can coexist, they must. There is nothing contradictory about that. The ideas go back at least as far as David Parnas and Paul Clements's classic paper A Rational Design Process: How and Why to Fake It along with other work by Tom Gilb on evolutionary development.
What inspired you to write an article on this specific topic?
We had been talking around the topic for some time, and it became clear that our customer, Diagnostic Grifols, had very relevant experience. I think it was very important for us to have a joint article, as it shows that the approach really is being used in practice, it's not Rational making claims.
Which is in your opinion the area which lacks standardization most (either because of the absence of standardization or because of insufficient standards)?
This very area of standards for agile in regulated industries is very light. People are starting to realise that agile does not mean free-for-all and needs some control.
Which future standards do you think are important?
I think we will see more approaches, not sure that they will necessarily be standards, on how to apply agile principles to physical systems development. And hopefully the agilistas will learn from the systems people.
When he's not shaping the future of electronics and medical devices, his main interest is music. He plays bass guitar and recently did a small gig with a very talented young local singer-songwriter.
Questions for Keith about requirements management, or his thoughts posted here? Let him know in the comments.