iOS 8 was unboxed today for developers, and some of our customers have a of batch mobile apps that need to be updated. Some of our customers maintain batches of Websites or microsites, and they update different sites at different times. These customers need to be agile and responsive, but they don't fit the traditional "agile" idea of a team that works on one project for a long series of releases. They switch their attention to the most important project at any given time, and deliver one improvement (a milestone, in the Assembla system). Then, they often switch to a different task. They work in pulses. Each milestone or pulse is like a small waterfall project with budgeting and scheduling negotiations, planning, implementation, and delivery.
We can make a study of this pulsed agile process and figure out how to make it run more smoothly. This article is a place to start. Let's figure it out.
Traditional agile processes are not a good guide for pulsing, because they assume that you have a team that works full time on one project for a long time. In a Scrum agile process, your team has periodic sprint planning meetings, and they get good at estimating about their one project. It’s not fair to ask for the same level of bottom-up estimating when picking up a dormant project. If you have more than one project running, you get pathological behavior like one person going to multiple sprint and standup meetings.