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Agile Adoption going mainstream...

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  • Robin Dymond
    An article from the SD TIMES.... According to a November 2005 report published by Forrester, agile software development processes are in use at 14 percent of
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 27, 2006
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      An article from the SD TIMES.... According to a November 2005 report published by Forrester, agile software development processes are in use at 14 percent of North American and European enterprises. Another 19 percent of enterprises are either interested in adopting agile or already planning to do so, the survey found.
       

      At the Five-Year Mark, Agile Manifesto Still Stands

      But adoption of agile methodologies is only now starting to be seen beyond project level

      By Jennifer deJong

      March 15, 2006 — Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.Working software over comprehensive documentation.Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.Responding to change over following a plan.

      Five years after the Agile Manifesto was inked, the jury is out on its impact. On the one hand, there is evidence that the ideas put forth by its backers have taken hold, influencing how teams think about software development today. On the other hand, adoption of agile methodologies is only now beginning to get off the ground.

      Even teams that aren't consciously practicing an agile methodology are moving toward more incremental delivery of software and earlier testing, particularly around service-oriented architecture (SOA) projects, said Forrester analyst Carey Schwaber, referring to two well-known agile practices.

      Another agile concept that has moved into the mainstream is the notion that effective customer interaction is key to producing good software, said Martin Fowler, one of 17 software consultants behind the Agile Manifesto. "The first and third values [of the manifesto] have to do with people and interactions," he said. Emphasizing those things, instead of tools and processes, was revolutionary for its time, he said. But today, the importance of customer collaboration is well-understood.

      According to a November 2005 report published by Forrester, agile software development processes are in use at 14 percent of North American and European enterprises. Another 19 percent of enterprises are either interested in adopting agile or already planning to do so, the survey found. But adoption rates don't tell the whole story, said Schwaber, who authored the report. "The real numbers are higher. A project uses agile methods, and then the project ends. It's difficult to discover every team in the company that is doing agile development."

      The survey, which marks the first time Forrester has formally measured agile adoption rates, concluded that a second wave of agile adoption is under way, as enterprise IT shops adopt agile processes to cut time-to-market, improve software quality and strengthen their relationships with business stakeholders.

      Enterprise agile adoption is significant because, earlier, such processes were adopted primarily by small, high-tech product companies, said Schwaber.

      Agile software development processes have been in use for about 15 years, and include half a dozen methodologies: Adaptive, Crystal, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Feature-Driven Development (FDD), Scrum and—best known of all—Extreme Programming (XP). All of them aim to deliver working software fast, and reject the traditional waterfall, or "code and fix," approach to writing software. Each entails, to varying degrees, some combination of project management, collaboration and engineering practices.

      XP is more prescriptive than the others, said Ward Cunningham, a consultant who helped create the Agile Manifesto. But the methodologies share more similarities than differences, added Fowler, chief scientist at Chicago-based consulting company ThoughtWorks.

      Different Camps

      The manifesto emerged from a three-day meeting in February 2001. Seventeen software pundits gathered in Snowbird, Utah, "to get at what it was we had in common," said Cunningham, director of committers and community development for Eclipse Foundation. "At the time, XP was getting traction that the other methodologies weren't," he said. "When we wrote the manifesto on the white board, we said: 'This is a perfect expression of what we all believe,'" he recalled. "It was startling."

      In addition to Cunningham and Fowler, the group included XP's inventor, Kent Beck; Alistair Cockburn, author of Crystal;

      Jim Highsmith, who developed the Adaptive methodology; and

      Brian Marick, a consultant who focuses on how testing fits into agile software development.

      A key accomplishment of the Agile Manifesto is that "we succeeded in not drifting to different camps, not arguing about what is different," said Fowler. Another outcome of the meeting was the term "agile" itself. Earlier, agile methods were known as "lightweight," noted Cunningham. But that term had a negative connotation, he said. "We agreed on 'agile' as the right word. None of us were using it, so it didn't favor one methodology over another."

      Would the manifesto's authors change anything if they were writing it today? "No," said Highsmith. "The values are as solid today as when we wrote them. They say, 'All these things are important. But the left-hand things are more important than the right-hand things.'"

      Fowler agreed. "We produced something I am proud of." It stands to reason that the Agile Manifesto still holds up today.

      'What I Didn't Know Then'

      In Jan. 29 blog entry, Marick, who heads Champaign, Ill.-based consulting firm Exampler.com, looked back at the Agile Manifesto, reflecting on "what I didn't know then." Topping his list is that tools matter more than he thought. "I don't think Agile would have taken off without semiflexible languages like Java and the fast machines to run them," he wrote. "Moreover, each new tool—JUnit, Cruise Control, refactoring IDEs, FIT—makes it easier for more people to go the Agile route. Without them, Agile would be a niche approach available only to the ridiculously determined."

      Five years ago, he wouldn't have said the customer role was the most difficult part of a project. But "now I say it all the time," wrote Marick. "I also greatly underestimated how central the role is."

      Fowler agreed. "Building projects around individuals is still very challenging." And outsourced development efforts are putting a strain on that, he added.

      Schwaber noted that one outcome of the Agile Manifesto was that it lessened the importance of individual agile methodologies. "People use a mix—some elements from Scrum, some from XP," she said, offering an example. "It's a little of this, and a little of that."

      Copyright © 2006 BZ Media. All rights reserved.

    • ginitram
      ... report ... in use at ... percent of ... planning to ... In a web poll conducted in May 2005, the Methods & Tools newsletter found higher adoption rates,
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 3, 2006
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        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Robin Dymond"
        <robin.dymond@...> wrote:
        >
        > An article from the SD TIMES.... According to a November 2005
        report
        > published by Forrester, agile software development processes are
        in use at
        > 14 percent of North American and European enterprises. Another 19
        percent of
        > enterprises are either interested in adopting agile or already
        planning to
        > do so, the survey found.

        In a web poll conducted in May 2005, the Methods & Tools newsletter
        found higher adoption rates, asking the following question: At what
        stage is the agile approach (XP,Scrum, FDD, ...) adoption at your
        location?

        Not aware 26%
        Not using 16%
        Investigating 14%
        Analysed and rejected 3%
        Pilot projects 4%
        Partial implementation (adoption of some agile practices) 17%
        Partial deployment (some projects are using this approach) 12%
        Deployed (all new projects are using this approach) 8%

        (reference http://www.methodsandtools.com/dynpoll/oldpoll.php?Agile)

        There is also interesting numbers on this topic in a survey
        published in the first issue of the Agile Journal:
        http://www.agilejournal.com/component/option,com_magazine/func,show_a
        rticle/id,17/
      • Larry Constantine
        Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand adds: I focus on Constantine s views
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 4, 2006
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          Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and
          methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand adds:

          "I focus on Constantine's views in particular because for many people in the
          agile programming world, he is the face of usability. [Disclosure: I've
          never met Constantine or even know anyone who has. My criticisms of are the
          methods he advocates, not of him as a person.] Constantine is a major writer
          on the Yahoo agile usability list, a list more dominated by programmers than
          usability professionals. The people-free "usability solution" offered by
          usage centered design is no doubt appealing to some programmers. But if
          agile programmers are going to learn what usability is about, they need to
          get a representative presentation of usability, especially the importance of
          user testing."

          I doubt I am "the face of usability." As regulars on this forum know, I am
          actually only one occasional contributor to what is a broad and open
          community with diverse opinions. My posting here is to reiterate for the
          record so this community remains clear about what my opinions actually are.

          It is both unfair and incorrect to write that "Constantine fashions himself
          as a usability expert, but he dismisses what 99% of other usability experts
          consider the foundation of usability: usability testing." I do not dismiss
          it, nor am I a "critic of usability testing." I have questioned the
          over-reliance on testing, particularly when it is to the exclusion of better
          up-front design based on understanding of real user needs, and I have
          documented some of the little acknowledged downsides of usability testing,
          which might put me in a minority but does not make me wrong. Neither do I
          reject testing as "too expensive and inefficient."

          In a nutshell this has been and remains my position: Usability testing is
          always a good idea. The better your design is the less user testing will be
          needed to achieve a given degree of usability. Depending primarily on
          usability testing alone to find problems is more expensive and less
          efficient than combining it with other approaches, such as, collaborative
          usability inspections, which Andrew dismisses as "more people chatting while
          sitting around a conference table." (Those of you who have participated in
          one of our usability inspections know it is a highly structured review with
          assigned roles, formal definitions, and strict rules, one of which prohibits
          "chatting.")

          I suppose I should not take it too personally, since he misunderstands and
          slights agile methods and programmers too, but I do, particularly when he
          wrongly attacks and attributes to me individually the book co-authored with
          Lucy Lockwood. Yes, we did cite a lot of our own work, because at that time
          much of the most relevant work was ours, but then, too, we had far more
          citations to others. And, yes, we did not devote many pages to
          testing--because we were writing a book about DESIGN not testing. A check of
          any book about usability testing will reveal not a lot said about design.

          Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum
          because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and
          strong opinions, but without malice and minimal misrepresentation, a place
          where misunderstandings are quickly countered and corrected. Unfortunately,
          the blogosphere is something different.


          --Larry Constantine, IDSA
          Director, Lab-USE - The Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
          University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal
        • Desilets, Alain
          Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and strong
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 4, 2006
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            Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum
            because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and
            strong opinions, but without malice and minimal misrepresentation, a
            place where misunderstandings are quickly countered and corrected.
            Unfortunately, the blogosphere is something different.

            -- Alain:
            We love you too Larry ;-). Keep popping here, you're always welcome.
            ----
          • Dave Churchville
            ... place ... Unfortunately, ... Someone once told me that if there aren t people who both love your work and hate it, you aren t making much of an impact.
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 4, 2006
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              --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Constantine"
              <lconstantine@...> wrote:
              > Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum
              > because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and
              > strong opinions, but without malice and minimal misrepresentation, a
              place
              > where misunderstandings are quickly countered and corrected.
              Unfortunately,
              > the blogosphere is something different.

              Someone once told me that if there aren't people who both love your
              work and hate it, you aren't making much of an impact.

              Truth is always a lightning rod for both positive and negative
              reactions, think of this as a compliment.

              Of course, inaccurate, offensive attacks on your work aren't fun, but
              on the bright side, this might actually boost your book sales ;-)

              Please keep doing what you're doing, I for one, find it both relevant
              and useful.

              --Dave

              David Churchville
              ExtremePlanner Software
              http://www.extremeplanner.com
            • Phlip
              ... Luxury. I used to hang awake at night, dreeeaming that a blogger somewhere would write a screed misrepresenting my views. -- Phlip
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 4, 2006
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                Larry Constantine wrote:

                > Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my
                > views and
                > methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand adds:

                Luxury. I used to hang awake at night, dreeeaming that a blogger
                somewhere would write a screed misrepresenting my views.

                --
                Phlip
                http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!
              • Rob Keefer
                Larry, When people spout off like this it reminds me of a point that Scott Adams (author of Dilbert) makes quite often on his blog: When people misrepresent
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 4, 2006
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                  Larry,
                   
                  When people spout off like this it reminds me of a point that Scott Adams (author of Dilbert) makes quite often on his blog: "When people misrepresent the views of their opposition, and attack the misrepresentation, they lose all credibility with me." (see http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2005/11/intelligent_des_1.html)

                  Unfortunately, you are not an "entertainer" as Scott Adams is, and haven't said things just to provoke people who like to misrepresent your views. However, as has already been pointed out, you are fortunate enough to have written something that provoked someone enough to misrepresent you, and for that you should be glad.
                   
                  - Rob
                   

                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: Larry Constantine <lconstantine@...>
                  To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Tuesday, April 4, 2006 1:02:17 PM
                  Subject: [agile-usability] Abuse of Usage

                  Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and
                  methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand adds:

                  "I focus on Constantine's views in particular because for many people in the
                  agile programming world, he is the face of usability. [Disclosure: I've
                  never met Constantine or even know anyone who has. My criticisms of are the
                  methods he advocates, not of him as a person.] Constantine is a major writer
                  on the Yahoo agile usability list, a list more dominated by programmers than
                  usability professionals. The people-free "usability solution" offered by
                  usage centered design is no doubt appealing to some programmers. But if
                  agile programmers are going to learn what usability is about, they need to
                  get a representative presentation of usability, especially the importance of
                  user testing."

                  I doubt I am "the face of usability." As regulars on this forum know, I am
                  actually only one occasional contributor to what is a broad and open
                  community with diverse opinions. My posting here is to reiterate for the
                  record so this community remains clear about what my opinions actually are.

                  It is both unfair and incorrect to write that "Constantine fashions himself
                  as a usability expert, but he dismisses what 99% of other usability experts
                  consider the foundation of usability: usability testing." I do not dismiss
                  it, nor am I a "critic of usability testing." I have questioned the
                  over-reliance on testing, particularly when it is to the exclusion of better
                  up-front design based on understanding of real user needs, and I have
                  documented some of the little acknowledged downsides of usability testing,
                  which might put me in a minority but does not make me wrong. Neither do I
                  reject testing as "too expensive and inefficient."

                  In a nutshell this has been and remains my position: Usability testing is
                  always a good idea. The better your design is the less user testing will be
                  needed to achieve a given degree of usability. Depending primarily on
                  usability testing alone to find problems is more expensive and less
                  efficient than combining it with other approaches, such as, collaborative
                  usability inspections, which Andrew dismisses as "more people chatting while
                  sitting around a conference table." (Those of you who have participated in
                  one of our usability inspections know it is a highly structured review with
                  assigned roles, formal definitions, and strict rules, one of which prohibits
                  "chatting.")

                  I suppose I should not take it too personally, since he misunderstands and
                  slights agile methods and programmers too, but I do, particularly when he
                  wrongly attacks and attributes to me individually the book co-authored with
                  Lucy Lockwood. Yes, we did cite a lot of our own work, because at that time
                  much of the most relevant work was ours, but then, too, we had far more
                  citations to others. And, yes, we did not devote many pages to
                  testing--because we were writing a book about DESIGN not testing. A check of
                  any book about usability testing will reveal not a lot said about design.

                  Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum
                  because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and
                  strong opinions, but without malice and minimal misrepresentation, a place
                  where misunderstandings are quickly countered and corrected. Unfortunately,
                  the blogosphere is something different. 


                  --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                    Director, Lab-USE - The Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
                    University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal

                • Phlip
                  ... There are blog entries out there that accuse Dilbert of being a tool of the Man - of encouraging complancency. Gotta love that bloggosphere! -- Phlip
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 4, 2006
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                    Rob Keefer wrote:

                    > When people spout off like this it reminds me of
                    > a point that Scott Adams (author of Dilbert) makes
                    > quite often on his blog

                    There are blog entries out there that accuse Dilbert of being a tool
                    of the Man - of encouraging complancency.

                    Gotta love that bloggosphere!

                    --
                    Phlip
                    http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!
                  • Jared M. Spool
                    ... I wonder which body part I am? Jared Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering 4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949 978
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 5, 2006
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                      At 01:02 PM 4/4/2006, you wrote:
                      >I doubt I am "the face of usability."

                      I wonder which body part I am?

                      Jared


                      Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
                      4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949
                      978 777-9123 jspool@... http://www.uie.com
                      Blog: http://www.uie.com/brainsparks
                    • Tim Wright
                      On behalf of the Wellingtonians in New Zealand (where Mike is based) who have met you and do understand Usage-Centered Design (I taught it at the University in
                      Message 10 of 12 , Apr 6, 2006
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                        On behalf of the Wellingtonians in New Zealand (where Mike is based) who have met you and do understand Usage-Centered Design (I taught it at the University in Wellington for a couple of years), sorry. Some of us do understand Usage-Centered Design and think it is fantastic.

                        I am still a *big* advocate of user-testing, especially in organisations who are unwilling to change their design process - I have found that in my current organisation (large government department) it is the politics of process ownership that get in the way of any consistent methodology. Perhaps I'll write a paper about this one day.

                        Dr Tim Wright


                        On 4/5/06, Larry Constantine <lconstantine@...> wrote:
                        Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and
                        methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand adds:

                        "I focus on Constantine's views in particular because for many people in the
                        agile programming world, he is the face of usability. [Disclosure: I've
                        never met Constantine or even know anyone who has. My criticisms of are the
                        methods he advocates, not of him as a person.] Constantine is a major writer
                        on the Yahoo agile usability list, a list more dominated by programmers than
                        usability professionals. The people-free "usability solution" offered by
                        usage centered design is no doubt appealing to some programmers. But if
                        agile programmers are going to learn what usability is about, they need to
                        get a representative presentation of usability, especially the importance of
                        user testing."

                        I doubt I am "the face of usability." As regulars on this forum know, I am
                        actually only one occasional contributor to what is a broad and open
                        community with diverse opinions. My posting here is to reiterate for the
                        record so this community remains clear about what my opinions actually are.

                        It is both unfair and incorrect to write that "Constantine fashions himself
                        as a usability expert, but he dismisses what 99% of other usability experts
                        consider the foundation of usability: usability testing." I do not dismiss
                        it, nor am I a "critic of usability testing." I have questioned the
                        over-reliance on testing, particularly when it is to the exclusion of better
                        up-front design based on understanding of real user needs, and I have
                        documented some of the little acknowledged downsides of usability testing,
                        which might put me in a minority but does not make me wrong. Neither do I
                        reject testing as "too expensive and inefficient."

                        In a nutshell this has been and remains my position: Usability testing is
                        always a good idea. The better your design is the less user testing will be
                        needed to achieve a given degree of usability. Depending primarily on
                        usability testing alone to find problems is more expensive and less
                        efficient than combining it with other approaches, such as, collaborative
                        usability inspections, which Andrew dismisses as "more people chatting while
                        sitting around a conference table." (Those of you who have participated in
                        one of our usability inspections know it is a highly structured review with
                        assigned roles, formal definitions, and strict rules, one of which prohibits
                        "chatting.")

                        I suppose I should not take it too personally, since he misunderstands and
                        slights agile methods and programmers too, but I do, particularly when he
                        wrongly attacks and attributes to me individually the book co-authored with
                        Lucy Lockwood. Yes, we did cite a lot of our own work, because at that time
                        much of the most relevant work was ours, but then, too, we had far more
                        citations to others. And, yes, we did not devote many pages to
                        testing--because we were writing a book about DESIGN not testing. A check of
                        any book about usability testing will reveal not a lot said about design.

                        Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum
                        because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and
                        strong opinions, but without malice and minimal misrepresentation, a place
                        where misunderstandings are quickly countered and corrected. Unfortunately,
                        the blogosphere is something different. 


                        --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                          Director, Lab-USE - The Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
                          University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal



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                        --
                        Kei te kōrero tiki au. Kei te kōrero tiki koe. Ka kōrero tiki tāua. Kōrero ai tiki tāua.
                      • William Pietri
                        Hi, Larry. ... I haven t seen his blog, but I wouldn t sweat it. My impression of your views is basically what you state. And as the guy who may be
                        Message 11 of 12 , Apr 6, 2006
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                          Hi, Larry.

                          Larry Constantine wrote:
                          > Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and
                          > methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand [...]
                          >
                          > In a nutshell this has been and remains my position: Usability testing is
                          > always a good idea. The better your design is the less user testing will be
                          > needed to achieve a given degree of usability. [...]
                          >
                          > I suppose I should not take it too personally [...] I contribute to this forum
                          > because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair [...] Unfortunately,
                          > the blogosphere is something different.

                          I haven't seen his blog, but I wouldn't sweat it. My impression of your
                          views is basically what you state. And as the guy who may be
                          single-handedly responsible for the apparent overrepresentation of
                          developers here, hopefully I'm a good proxy for the view of an outsider,
                          somebody who's interest in usability is pragmatic rather than a chosen
                          career.

                          As you say, the different media can suit different purposes. Given that
                          the fellow has posted here exactly once, it's hard for me to take him
                          particularly seriously. If he had wanted to understand, he could have
                          asked questions or started a discussion. I gather his purpose was
                          instead to rant. When dogs howl at the moon, it's never clear to me how
                          much the moon is the problem.

                          William
                        • Larry Constantine
                          Thanks for the support over the years, Tim. I actually know Wellington well as a repository of smart people who get it and don t go around misrepresenting
                          Message 12 of 12 , Apr 7, 2006
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                            Thanks for the support over the years, Tim. I actually know Wellington well
                            as a repository of smart people who "get it" and don't go around
                            misrepresenting things.

                            Tim wrote:
                            =====
                            I am still a *big* advocate of user-testing, especially in organisations who
                            are unwilling to change their design process - I have found that in my
                            current organisation (large government department) it is the politics of
                            process ownership that get in the way of any consistent methodology. Perhaps
                            I'll write a paper about this one day.
                            =====

                            Very good point. Do write that paper--maybe sooner than someday. If a group
                            does nothing else, they should at least do user testing. Ironically, I
                            frequently find myself the strong advocate of testing with organizations
                            that are unwilling to budget for it. I may be a great designer, but it gives
                            me the willies to think of software being released without at least
                            selective user testing.

                            --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                            Director, Lab-USE - The Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
                            Professor, Department of Mathematics and Engineering
                            University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal
                            Chief Scientist | Constantine & Lockwood Ltd | www.foruse.com
                            58 Kathleen Circle | Rowley, MA 01969
                            t: +1 978.948.5012 | f: +1 978.948.5036


                            ________________________________________
                            From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                            [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Wright
                            Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 1:13 PM
                            To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Abuse of Usage


                            On behalf of the Wellingtonians in New Zealand (where Mike is based) who
                            have met you and do understand Usage-Centered Design (I taught it at the
                            University in Wellington for a couple of years), sorry. Some of us do
                            understand Usage-Centered Design and think it is fantastic.

                            I am still a *big* advocate of user-testing, especially in organisations who
                            are unwilling to change their design process - I have found that in my
                            current organisation (large government department) it is the politics of
                            process ownership that get in the way of any consistent methodology. Perhaps
                            I'll write a paper about this one day.

                            Dr Tim Wright

                            On 4/5/06, Larry Constantine <lconstantine@...> wrote:
                            Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and
                            methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand adds:

                            "I focus on Constantine's views in particular because for many people in the
                            agile programming world, he is the face of usability. [Disclosure: I've
                            never met Constantine or even know anyone who has. My criticisms of are the
                            methods he advocates, not of him as a person.] Constantine is a major writer
                            on the Yahoo agile usability list, a list more dominated by programmers than
                            usability professionals. The people-free "usability solution" offered by
                            usage centered design is no doubt appealing to some programmers. But if
                            agile programmers are going to learn what usability is about, they need to
                            get a representative presentation of usability, especially the importance of
                            user testing."

                            I doubt I am "the face of usability." As regulars on this forum know, I am
                            actually only one occasional contributor to what is a broad and open
                            community with diverse opinions. My posting here is to reiterate for the
                            record so this community remains clear about what my opinions actually are.

                            It is both unfair and incorrect to write that "Constantine fashions himself
                            as a usability expert, but he dismisses what 99% of other usability experts
                            consider the foundation of usability: usability testing." I do not dismiss
                            it, nor am I a "critic of usability testing." I have questioned the
                            over-reliance on testing, particularly when it is to the exclusion of better
                            up-front design based on understanding of real user needs, and I have
                            documented some of the little acknowledged downsides of usability testing,
                            which might put me in a minority but does not make me wrong. Neither do I
                            reject testing as "too expensive and inefficient."

                            In a nutshell this has been and remains my position: Usability testing is
                            always a good idea. The better your design is the less user testing will be
                            needed to achieve a given degree of usability. Depending primarily on
                            usability testing alone to find problems is more expensive and less
                            efficient than combining it with other approaches, such as, collaborative
                            usability inspections, which Andrew dismisses as "more people chatting while
                            sitting around a conference table." (Those of you who have participated in
                            one of our usability inspections know it is a highly structured review with
                            assigned roles, formal definitions, and strict rules, one of which prohibits
                            "chatting.")

                            I suppose I should not take it too personally, since he misunderstands and
                            slights agile methods and programmers too, but I do, particularly when he
                            wrongly attacks and attributes to me individually the book co-authored with
                            Lucy Lockwood. Yes, we did cite a lot of our own work, because at that time
                            much of the most relevant work was ours, but then, too, we had far more
                            citations to others. And, yes, we did not devote many pages to
                            testing--because we were writing a book about DESIGN not testing. A check of
                            any book about usability testing will reveal not a lot said about design.

                            Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum
                            because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and
                            strong opinions, but without malice and minimal misrepresentation, a place
                            where misunderstandings are quickly countered and corrected. Unfortunately,
                            the blogosphere is something different. 


                            --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                              Director, Lab-USE - The Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
                              University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal

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