There was an interesting email discussion today at a client where I am engaged in a process improvement initiative. The current-state process resembles a hybrid linear plus time-box model, according to the taxonomy of process models I suggested in an earlier post. They do the iterations only for the programming work, and the rest of it is linear. Their goals for improvement are to improve throughout, reduce lead time, increase predictability, and reduce defects.
A portion of the discussion dealt with the size and scope of work items. It occurred to me some of that material might be of general interest, as it reinforces the idea that small is beautiful. Here is a sanitized excerpt from the discussion. Hopefully it will provide at least one real-world example of the value of keeping things small.