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Agile Modernization in Place

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Written by Jennifer Lynch

The latest CHAOS Tuesday features the first part of an eight part segment series on modernizing legacy applications.  Most approaches to modernizing legacy applications are both risky and costly. Legacy does not necessarily mean bad and should be thrown out. Just like humans need some surgery to replace knee and hip joints. Some legacy systems need modern surgery as well. Modernization in Place is equivalent to the agile process for legacy applications.  You modernize in small iterative microprojects.  You make changes to existing programs and code while the other parts of the application remain in place and running the business. For example you may take a set of programs and refactor them before you transition them to a new code base.  After some quality assurance testing you replace the old programs with the new programs.  If they work fine, then you transition them to the new code base, test and replace again.  You repeat the process over and over again until the modernization is complete. Like the agile process any problems that arise can be quickly discovered and repaired.  To hear more on Modernization in Place go to CHAOS Tuesday.

PM2GO Update

We had two new contributors join Peter Taylor and Jon Quigley.

Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’. Peter is a writer and lecturer. He is an entertaining and inspiring speaker on the project management issues. He also is an independent consultant working with some of the major organizations in the world coaching executive sponsors, PMO leaders and project managers.  Peter’s first advice post is on 3 September 2014. The title of the post is “Project Sponsorship Action”. Peter suggests that you take some time to consider the reality of the effectiveness of project sponsorship in your organization.



Jon M. Quigley is the author of several books on project management and software development. Mr. Quigley is also a frequent speaker at industry events. Jon is a principal at Value Transformation LLC. Value Transformation is a product development training and cost improvement organization. He has more then twenty years of product development experience, ranging from embedded hardware and software through verification and project management.  Jon’s first advice post will be on 4 September 2014. The title of the post is “Ambiguous Language”. Jon Quigley suggests ambiguous language only defers or kicks the problem down the road.

Last Week’s PM2GO Advice Posts

Design Debt Approach:  Hans Mulder suggest you use a design debt approach.

Measurements Tracking: The Standish Group suggests that the executive sponsor have the team develop a method to present the progress of the project in an easy-to-understand form.

Solution Ownership: As Bill Coleman says, “As project mentor, the worst thing you can do is tell the team how to solve their problems."

Edification: Project Management Process: The Standish Group suggests the executive sponsor needs to understand the process regarding how the project or program will be carried out.

Storytelling: Timothy Chou says, “So with Cloudbook we are addressing the fundamental challenge of every company – the cost and effectiveness of sales and marketing."


CHAOS Tuesday #56 Modernization in Place

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CHAOS Tuesday #56: is titled “Modernization in Place”. This is a first part of an eight part segment series on modernizing legacy applications. In these segments we will explore the basics of Modernization in Place and the six-step method to modernize applications. We compare this approach to rewriting the application and buying a package. Our special guest for this series is Harry Scott, Co-Founder of Carr Scott Software, Inc. In that regard, we are providing an update on the Massachusetts RMV Modernization Program. In CHAOS Tool Time, Lee Cunningham discusses how agile tools compare and contrast to PM tools such as MS Project and Clarity. Lee Gesmer in CHAOS on the Law presents Part 4 of 4 of the Oracle versus Google copyright and patent lawsuit. In this program we explore:

  • Modernization in place
  • Six steps to modernization
  • Agile Tools versus PM Tools
  • Oracle versus Google part 4
  • Mass RMV:  Update on a dead project

Click CHAOS Tuesday after 11am on Tuesday August 12th to listen & download

Harry Scott is the co-founder of Carr Scott Software. Carr Scott Software specializes in database, middleware, and modernization software. Mr. Scott has a mix of technical and interpersonal skills and expertise that make him well suited to help organizations modernize their legacy applications. Lee Cunningham is the Director of Enterprise Agile Enablement at VersionOne, Inc. Lee Gesmer is a founding partner of the Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove LLP.