Slurp, burp, hiccup, sneeze, wipe, change, sleep… [repeat]
How’s that for an iterative development process? Currently, I (well, Elle) has an iteration every two to three hours. Initial release will be in 18 to 21 years, with ongoing maintenance after that. We do expect our cycle time to lengthen after the initial few months of development, especially since we are locked into scope-bounded iterations instead of time-bounded ones by the constraints of the development project.
I do, however, expect that one of the side-effects of such an aggressive schedule will be burn-out among the oversight team, but that team has been identified as being highly motivated and any turnover seems to be a highly remote possibility. We did mitigate some initial risk by bringing in highly experienced contractors for the first few weeks to assist in establishing the basic patterns development will follow.
We are very lucky in that there is a large body of existing practices on which we can draw. We are confident that little or none of the development done on this project will be revolutionary, thus our aggressive estimate of +/- 1.5 years. There is risk that the oversight committee may cancel further development and move directly into the maintenance phase if the schedule drastically overruns the 21 year estimate.
<aside>I very much feel like a geek right now </aside>