I was recently asked about the relationship between Agile Development and Snowmen. If you aren't familiar with The Snowman Architecture, see this earlier blog.
I'm not sure The Snowman Practice has much to offer Agile on small projects (say <$1M). These projects always seem to do reasonably on their own. However once a project goes much above $1M, the Agile approach can no longer keep up with the increasing project complexity.
This is where The Snowman Practice has much to offer Agile. The Snowman Practice offers a methodology to break a large project into smaller highly targeted autonomous projects that have minimal dependencies to each other and are highly aligned to the business architectural organization.
|Smaller highly targeted autonomous projects|
There is actually a mathematical explanation as to why Agile over $1M needs The Snowman Practice. As projects increase in functionality, their complexity increases exponentially. Agile however is a linear solution. This means that the amount of work an Agile team can produce is at best linearly related to the size of the group.
At small sizes, a linear solution (Agile) can contain an exponential problem (complexity). But at some point the exponential problem crosses over the ability of the linear solution's ability to provide containment. For Agile projects, this seems to happen someplace around $1M.
|At some point the exponential problem crosses over |
the ability of the linear solution's ability to provide containment