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RE: [agile-usability] incrementing vs. iterating

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  • Desilets, Alain
    Sorry Jeff, but I re-read your post twice and I still don t get the distinction. Can you provide a concrete example of a particular story and what it might
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 9, 2007
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      Sorry Jeff, but I re-read your post twice and I still don't get the
      distinction.

      Can you provide a concrete example of a particular story and what it
      might mean to iterate vs increment over it?

      Alain

      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Patton
      > Sent: August 9, 2007 1:04 AM
      > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [agile-usability] incrementing vs. iterating
      >
      > I wanted to do a quick opinion poll... but to answer my
      > question, I'll have to supply some context.
      >
      > Lately I've been working hard to explain to people the
      > difference between iterating and incrementing.
      >
      > By iterating I mean that I might design and/or build
      > something, evaluate it, then adjust it, then evaluate it,
      > then adjust it... keep doing that till I feel it's the best
      > quality I can get - till I feel I've reached something I can
      > live with. Basically the product becomes more refined - it
      > likely becomes simpler, it may even shrink in size or complexity.
      >
      > By incrementing I mean I might design and/or build something,
      > evaluate it, then add a little more, then evaluate it, then
      > add a little
      > more.... Basically the product grows and grows.
      >
      > I see many people say they're doing iterative development,
      > but really they're incrementing. You'll see this in agile
      > development when you play a user story and expect to "get it
      > right" - not go back and play another story to refine it. In
      > agile development environments that increment, they never
      > seem to plan for iterative refinement of stories. The result
      > is every time we want to we want to play a subsequent story
      > to refine a previous one, we end up in a bit of a scuffle
      > about what story needs to be removed from the release plan.
      > Basically - the release plan was built with no intention of iterating
      > - only incrementing.
      >
      > In my head increments are for releasing value to customers
      > and end-users. Iterations are for building and refining
      > until I've reach a quality level that I can release - or run
      > out of time, budget, or stomach to spend more. Of course by
      > iterating I mean a bit of a blend
      > - iterate on stories till they're good, and incrementally add
      > more stories till you reach something releasable.
      >
      > My bias is coming through clearly in the way I explain this -
      > but try to ignore that. I've seen lots of environments where
      > people increment and seem to deliver successfully.
      >
      > I'm curious which you do?
      >
      > And, the reason I ask is that heard from a few sources that
      > incrementing might work best - especially where UI design is
      > concerned. That is to say we work out the UI then hand over
      > a user story as a completely worked through piece of UI to
      > simply build. We don't plan on making changes after we build
      > it. All the iteration was done by the UI people using
      > prototypes or other means. Or, in yucky cases, iteration
      > never occurred. We just settled on the first UI we came up with.
      >
      > Again - my bias is towards developing very simple UI in early
      > iterations and refining it through iterative development.
      > But this is a strategy that seems to make some twitchy. They
      > seem to want the UI right on the first iteration they see it.
      >
      > Finally, my friend Alistair wrote a bit about his 3-card
      > approach to injecting some iteration back into agile development:
      > http://alistair.cockburn.us/index.php/Incremental_versus_itera
      > tive_development
      >
      > Thanks,
      >
      > -Jeff
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Mark Schraad
      Most designers are used to both iterating and incrementing. We have been doing it for decades and is what Constantine so elegantly called trial and error I
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 9, 2007
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        Most designers are used to both iterating and incrementing. We have been doing it for decades and is what Constantine so elegantly called 'trial and error' I believe.

        I interpret from Jeff's definition the differing element to be a use ready prototype. Is this correct?

        There is an oversite or management issue here that is dependent on the extreme adherence to time and very quick turnarounds. The problem comes in keeping standards high. Given a hard stop, it is pretty easy for designers and developers to output a 'good enough' for this iteration solution. It puts more pressure on (design and dev) management to oversee quality. The pressure to release sub par product early is substantial in most corporate environs.

        Additionally, the notion of working with a design attitude as opposed to decision attitude (Managing as Designing, R. Noland and F. Callopy) is often lost. A larger question in scrutinizing agile process might be, is good enough what we are really after?

        Mark





        2007/8/9, Jeff Patton <jpatton@acm.org>:
        > I wanted to do a quick opinion poll... but to answer my question, I'll
        > have to supply some context.
        >
        > Lately I've been working hard to explain to people the difference
        > between iterating and incrementing.
        >
        > By iterating I mean that I might design and/or build something,
        > evaluate it, then adjust it, then evaluate it, then adjust it... keep
        > doing that till I feel it's the best quality I can get - till I feel
        > I've reached something I can live with. Basically the product becomes
        > more refined - it likely becomes simpler, it may even shrink in size
        > or complexity.
        >
        > By incrementing I mean I might design and/or build something, evaluate
        > it, then add a little more, then evaluate it, then add a little
        > more.... Basically the product grows and grows.
        >
        > I see many people say they're doing iterative development, but really
        > they're incrementing. You'll see this in agile development when you
        > play a user story and expect to "get it right" - not go back and play
        > another story to refine it. In agile development environments that
        > increment, they never seem to plan for iterative refinement of
        > stories. The result is every time we want to we want to play a
        > subsequent story to refine a previous one, we end up in a bit of a
        > scuffle about what story needs to be removed from the release plan.
        > Basically - the release plan was built with no intention of iterating
        > - only incrementing.
        >
        > In my head increments are for releasing value to customers and
        > end-users. Iterations are for building and refining until I've reach
        > a quality level that I can release - or run out of time, budget, or
        > stomach to spend more. Of course by iterating I mean a bit of a blend
        > - iterate on stories till they're good, and incrementally add more
        > stories till you reach something releasable.
        >
        > My bias is coming through clearly in the way I explain this - but try
        > to ignore that. I've seen lots of environments where people increment
        > and seem to deliver successfully.
        >
        > I'm curious which you do?
        >
        > And, the reason I ask is that heard from a few sources that
        > incrementing might work best - especially where UI design is
        > concerned. That is to say we work out the UI then hand over a user
        > story as a completely worked through piece of UI to simply build. We
        > don't plan on making changes after we build it. All the iteration was
        > done by the UI people using prototypes or other means. Or, in yucky
        > cases, iteration never occurred. We just settled on the first UI we
        > came up with.
        >
        > Again - my bias is towards developing very simple UI in early
        > iterations and refining it through iterative development. But this is
        > a strategy that seems to make some twitchy. They seem to want the UI
        > right on the first iteration they see it.
        >
        > Finally, my friend Alistair wrote a bit about his 3-card approach to
        > injecting some iteration back into agile development:
        > http://alistair.cockburn.us/index.php/Incremental_versus_iterative_development
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        > -Jeff
        >


      • White, Jeff
        I took it to mean this: say you know upfront some product you re working on will have 5 features. Those 5 features could be built incrementally - 1 sprint for
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 9, 2007
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          I took it to mean this: say you know upfront some product you’re working on will have 5 features. Those 5 features could be built incrementally – 1 sprint for feature 1, etc. That doesn’t mean that each feature was subjected to iterative design – design, test, refine, test, refine, etc.

           

          Jeff

           

          >>  

          Sorry Jeff, but I re-read your post twice and I still don't get the
          distinction.

          Can you provide a concrete example of a particular story and what it
          might mean to iterate vs increment over it?

          Alain

          >>

          .


        • Desilets, Alain
          ... In other words: incremental = one complete and finished feature at a time iterative = start with version 0.1 of a set of features, and improve them as a
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 9, 2007
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             >  I took it to mean this: say you know upfront some product you’re working on will have 5 features. Those 5 features 
             >  could be  built incrementally – 1 sprint for feature 1, etc. That doesn’t mean that each feature was subjected to iterative  
             >  design – design, test, refine, test, refine, etc. 
             
            In other words:


            (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
          • Jeff Patton
            Clearly I ve asked the wrong group. You re all too smart to simply do one or the other – or to be unaware of which you re doing. I hear everyone saying
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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              Clearly I've asked the wrong group. You're all too smart to simply do
              one or the other – or to be unaware of which you're doing. I hear
              everyone saying they do both – and alternate between each at different
              times and for different reasons.

              June: iterating and incrementing are too combined to pick apart.
              Emphasis on organic growth. Great Alexander reference. June thinks
              on a higher plane than I do. ;-)

              Faith: This is where I think ICD/IxD/Ux people run into trouble with
              some Agle folk who have the bias for delivering index cards with "as a
              shmo I want manage widgets so that I can…" stories written on them.
              These clearly defer interaction design till late – and consequently
              defer iterating UI to immediately before construction – and defer
              iterating the /whole/ UI till after some construction – till after we
              see it together as working code rather than as a prototype.

              I really your the layering suggestion. I'll try this. When
              delivering /rough/ UI I always need to explain – using big hand
              gestures – how things will eventually look once we confirm this bit is
              good. Using an overlay to show a possible visual design would help.
              I hate premature elaboration. ;-)

              Mark: The comments that stick in my head are around the tension
              between quick turn around and keeping quality standards high, and "is
              good enough what we're really after?" You sorta get at the heart of
              what I'm talking about. Of course most people want things as good as
              they can be. For commercial software, certainly better than
              competitors'. And, "good enough" is both a subjective and relative
              term. Many people's "good enough" is my "stinky sub-standard."

              For me quality is something I iterate toward both in prototypes and
              later in code. Early iterations would clearly be too rough to release
              to users – later iterations – the one's before the release – I'd
              expect quality to be very high. Basically I want to start with
              stories that are "not good enough" and keep adding stories till I get
              to "really really good." You're observation is correct that in many
              agile environments they use stories that are "good enough" and
              continue with those all the way through – never building to anything
              better than "good enough." And when you add a pile of just "good
              enough" stories together, you often end up with "not so good" – the
              whole being less than the sum of its parts.

              So, on your comment regarding scrutinizing agile process and asking is
              "good enough what really after?" – I'd encourage you to scrutinize the
              agile /practitioners/ a little harder. As I practice Agile, I usually
              fish for something better than good enough.

              Alain: I think you get what I'm saying – and like everyone else you
              don't easily separate the two strategies. You're "do the simplest
              thing that could possible work" comment is a good one. That was a
              mantra I used to hear a lot years ago – and less so today. Don't know
              why, or if I've been hanging around in the wrong circles lately. But,
              when I do hear it – it's with developers talking about code – not the
              people writing user stories using it as a strategy for putting simple
              stories in first and following them up with stories that improve those
              stories.

              The simplest thing that could possibly work at iteration 1 is
              different than the simplest thing that could possibly work at
              incremental release 1. By that I mean on iteration 1 I might want a
              simple story that helps me learn something about what I eventually
              need – "the simplest thing I could possibly learn from". The quality
              may be too low to release – but, it'll help me learn. By the last
              iteration of the release, I'd like the user experience to be high.
              I'd like it to be the "simplest thing I could possibly release."

              Thanks everyone for commenting.

              -Jeff
            • Desilets, Alain
              ... Actually, this mantra was originally coined in the context of code, not UI. But I think it applies to both. Note that the mantra does not say to Stop
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                > Alain: I think you get what I'm saying - and like everyone
                > else you don't easily separate the two strategies. You're
                > "do the simplest thing that could possible work" comment is a
                > good one. That was a mantra I used to hear a lot years ago -
                > and less so today. Don't know why, or if I've been hanging
                > around in the wrong circles lately. But, when I do hear it -
                > it's with developers talking about code - not the people
                > writing user stories using it as a strategy for putting
                > simple stories in first and following them up with stories
                > that improve those
                > stories.

                Actually, this mantra was originally coined in the context of code, not
                UI. But I think it applies to both.

                Note that the mantra does not say to "Stop after the simplest thing...".
                It just says start with that and re-evaluate from there.

                I find having quickly a minimal working version of a feature helps me
                identify the pressure points that matter most.

                > The simplest thing that could possibly work at iteration 1 is
                > different than the simplest thing that could possibly work at
                > incremental release 1. By that I mean on iteration 1 I might
                > want a simple story that helps me learn something about what
                > I eventually need - "the simplest thing I could possibly
                > learn from".

                I like that. It exactly captures what I was talking about above.

                > I'd like it to be the "simplest thing I could possibly release."

                In my case, that releasable thing is always very different from what I
                initially envisaged, and the quick initial build is a necessary step for
                me to find out.

                Alain
              • Jeff Patton
                ... That s _exactly_ what I mean by iterative development. And you d be surprised at how often in agile environments I ve observed people considering that a
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                  --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                  <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > I'd like it to be the "simplest thing I could possibly release."
                  >
                  > In my case, that releasable thing is always very different from what I
                  > initially envisaged, and the quick initial build is a necessary step for
                  > me to find out.

                  That's _exactly_ what I mean by iterative development. And you'd be
                  surprised at how often in agile environments I've observed people
                  considering that a failure. And in particular people in the customer
                  or product owner role not letting a user story be written or
                  considered complete until it is exactly the way it should be at
                  release time - even if the story is played on iteration 1. (I suspect
                  my bias is showing through again.)

                  thanks,

                  -Jeff
                • Jeff Patton
                  ... step for ... The question for me - from an agile interaction design perspective is /where/ does the iteration occur?
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                    <sorry - clicked send to soon....>

                    --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Patton" <jpatton@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                    > <alain.desilets@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > I'd like it to be the "simplest thing I could possibly release."
                    > >
                    > > In my case, that releasable thing is always very different from what I
                    > > initially envisaged, and the quick initial build is a necessary
                    step for
                    > > me to find out.
                    >
                    > That's _exactly_ what I mean by iterative development. And you'd be
                    > surprised at how often in agile environments I've observed people
                    > considering that a failure. And in particular people in the customer
                    > or product owner role not letting a user story be written or
                    > considered complete until it is exactly the way it should be at
                    > release time - even if the story is played on iteration 1. (I suspect
                    > my bias is showing through again.)

                    The question for me - from an agile interaction design perspective is
                    /where/ does the iteration occur? Outside of code in prototypes, or
                    in code as working software?

                    As I've been saying, I've seen an unusual resistance, particularly
                    from those in a customer role, to iterating in the working software.
                    This forces it to occur before. And for me is sometimes problematic.
                    There's only so much I can learn from paper - and for my money higher
                    fidelity prototyping quickly approaches diminishing returns when
                    compared to working code (at least for the domains I often work in).
                    But, when I say working code - I mean working code that's not much
                    better than a prototype. I don't mean releasable working code. For
                    some it may be crystal clear - for others it all seems to confusing
                    and ad hoc to live with.

                    Thanks,

                    -Jeff
                  • Desilets, Alain
                    ... I m quite puzzled by that. I would think that a team that a team that opted for an Agile approach would consider reworking a story as a normal and
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                      > > > I'd like it to be the "simplest thing I could possibly release."
                      > >
                      > > In my case, that releasable thing is always very different
                      > from what I
                      > > initially envisaged, and the quick initial build is a
                      > necessary step
                      > > for me to find out.
                      >
                      > That's _exactly_ what I mean by iterative development. And
                      > you'd be surprised at how often in agile environments I've
                      > observed people considering that a failure. And in
                      > particular people in the customer or product owner role not
                      > letting a user story be written or considered complete until
                      > it is exactly the way it should be at release time - even if
                      > the story is played on iteration 1. (I suspect my bias is
                      > showing through again.)

                      I'm quite puzzled by that.

                      I would think that a team that a team that opted for an Agile approach
                      would consider reworking a story as a normal and desirable thing. If
                      anything, if you never need to rework a any stories, you are probably
                      consitently overshooting and wasting money on gold plating.

                      But it sounds like you have seen many teams where people (even including
                      developpers by the sounds of things) interpret the need to rework a
                      story as a sign that something was done wrong?

                      Makes you wonder if those people really understand Agile development
                      altogether.

                      Alain
                    • Desilets, Alain
                      ... . Alain responds: Yes, I can imagine that. How do *developpers* feel about iterating in the working software? Another common bias is developpers who are
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                        > Jeff wrote:
                        >
                        > The question for me - from an agile interaction design
                        > perspective is /where/ does the iteration occur? Outside of
                        > code in prototypes, or in code as working software?
                        >
                        > As I've been saying, I've seen an unusual resistance,
                        > particularly from those in a customer role, to iterating in
                        > the working software.
                        > This forces it to occur before. And for me is sometimes problematic.
                        > There's only so much I can learn from paper - and for my
                        > money higher fidelity prototyping quickly approaches
                        > diminishing returns when compared to working code (at least
                        > for the domains I often work in).
                        .

                        Alain responds:

                        Yes, I can imagine that. How do *developpers* feel about iterating in
                        the working software?

                        Another common bias is developpers who are against iterating outside of
                        working software at all. Those are the ones who believe you should start
                        coding as soon as you can write a couple stories on napkins. I see a lot
                        more of that kind of bias myself.

                        I think you need to do both, as you very justly point out.

                        I'm a little puzzled by what you mean by this part of your post:

                        > But, when I say working code - I mean working code that's not
                        > much better than a prototype. I don't mean releasable
                        > working code. For some it may be crystal clear - for others
                        > it all seems to confusing and ad hoc to live with

                        Do you mean that for example, it's OK to produce code that is buggy
                        while you are iterating in software?

                        My own experience is that it's better to write good quality code
                        TDD-style all the time. Even when I am spiking code that is meant to be
                        throw-away, I will do it TDD style because I truly feel it allows to
                        move faster than if I just hack away. The easiest time to find and fix a
                        bug is right at the moment when you introduce it.

                        The same goes with refactoring. I don't think it's a good idea to
                        accumulate a large design dept in your code while prototyping, and hope
                        that once you are done iterating, you will be able to clean up the code.
                        It's much easier to clean up as you go.

                        I think what you mean by "not releasable" is code that is not function
                        complete, or whose usability is embarassingly bad so that you would not
                        dream to put it in front of an end-user (even a very sympathetic and
                        understanding one). Is that correct?

                        Alain
                      • Jeff Patton
                        ... I should also point out that I get called on to work with UX people new to agile - and one of their biggest concerns is that as well. They generally want
                        Message 11 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                          <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > But it sounds like you have seen many teams where people (even including
                          > developpers by the sounds of things) interpret the need to rework a
                          > story as a sign that something was done wrong?
                          >
                          > Makes you wonder if those people really understand Agile development
                          > altogether.

                          I should also point out that I get called on to work with UX people
                          new to agile - and one of their biggest concerns is that as well.
                          They generally want more time to iterate their design so that it can
                          be "more right" before it gets passed to developers as a "user story."
                          And, in my opinion, they often want too much time to get it way too
                          right.

                          It's understandable since many of them have been conditioned by past
                          experience that once they give it to development, not only does
                          development often screw it up, but they rarely get another iteration
                          to fix or improve it. It looks a little like post-traumatic-stress
                          disorder. And, I think a lot of folks with years of experience in
                          traditional software development suffer from it. Not just the UX
                          people. That's why I think I see so much "incrementing" and so little
                          "iterating."

                          thanks,

                          -Jeff
                        • Desilets, Alain
                          ... Yes, I can see how this kind of past experience would condition your get it right the first time reflexes. Do you find that as they work more and more on
                          Message 12 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                            > It's understandable since many of them have been conditioned
                            > by past experience that once they give it to development, not
                            > only does development often screw it up, but they rarely get
                            > another iteration to fix or improve it. It looks a little
                            > like post-traumatic-stress disorder. And, I think a lot of
                            > folks with years of experience in traditional software
                            > development suffer from it. Not just the UX people. That's
                            > why I think I see so much "incrementing" and so little "iterating."

                            Yes, I can see how this kind of past experience would condition your
                            "get it right the first time" reflexes.

                            Do you find that as they work more and more on a true agile environment
                            they start relaxing more (assuming of course that developpers ARE
                            responsive to their requests for changes)?

                            One thing I do notice is that while agile developpers ARE open to
                            changes in terms of adding new functionality or scenarios of use, they
                            tend to be less open to changes in the kind of "details" that makes the
                            difference between a barely usable system, and a system that is a
                            pleasure to use. You know, things like: this should be a picklist
                            instead of a text box type of thing. So maybe that kind of reflex is not
                            completely uncalled for even in an agile context.

                            Alain

                            Oh, and I'll echo your thanks.
                          • Desilets, Alain
                            ... Actually, a better example is something like: The list of images that the user needs to pick from should be displayed as a list of thumbnail images with
                            Message 13 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                              > One thing I do notice is that while agile developpers ARE
                              > open to changes in terms of adding new functionality or
                              > scenarios of use, they tend to be less open to changes in the
                              > kind of "details" that makes the difference between a barely
                              > usable system, and a system that is a pleasure to use. You
                              > know, things like: this should be a picklist instead of a
                              > text box type of thing.

                              Actually, a better example is something like: "The list of images that
                              the user needs to pick from should be displayed as a list of thumbnail
                              images with the file name as opposed to just a list of file names, so
                              that the user does not have to guess or remember what the image is from
                              its file name".

                              Lots of developers (including some agile ones) would see that change as
                              an unimportant detail whose implementation cost outweighs the gains in
                              ease of use.

                              Alain
                            • Jeff Patton
                              ... This reminds me of another weird dead-lock I often see. Developer wants to start work as soon as we have a few lines of text. Asks to know what the UI
                              Message 14 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                                --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                                <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Yes, I can imagine that. How do *developpers* feel about iterating in
                                > the working software?
                                >
                                > Another common bias is developers who are against iterating outside of
                                > working software at all. Those are the ones who believe you should start
                                > coding as soon as you can write a couple stories on napkins. I see a lot
                                > more of that kind of bias myself.

                                This reminds me of another weird dead-lock I often see. Developer
                                wants to start work as soon as we have a few lines of text. Asks to
                                know what the UI should look like. Analyst or UI person hastily
                                sketches something. Developer is generally happy to refactor their
                                internal design to improve it -but screams "scope creep" or "bad
                                requirements" when the UI needs to change. Basically very willing to
                                iterate internal design, and very unwilling to iterate external design.

                                Again, understandable. They're more comfortable iterating over the
                                parts they understand - because I believe they can better understand
                                when they design is improving. Less willing to iterate over the parts
                                they can understand - because they can't tell if they are or aren't
                                making positive improvements.

                                > I'm a little puzzled by what you mean by this part of your post:
                                >
                                > > But, when I say working code - I mean working code that's not
                                > > much better than a prototype. I don't mean releasable
                                > > working code. For some it may be crystal clear - for others
                                > > it all seems to confusing and ad hoc to live with
                                >
                                > Do you mean that for example, it's OK to produce code that is buggy
                                > while you are iterating in software?

                                Nope - I mean that it's OK to produce software I wouldn't put in front
                                of the consumer. For instance I may leave field validation, some
                                optional fields, and some visual design elements out of the first
                                iteration - but definitely not out of the release.

                                > My own experience is that it's better to write good quality code
                                > TDD-style all the time. Even when I am spiking code that is meant to be
                                > throw-away, I will do it TDD style because I truly feel it allows to
                                > move faster than if I just hack away. The easiest time to find and fix a
                                > bug is right at the moment when you introduce it.

                                I separate quality of code from quality of user experience. So, while
                                I always expect code quality to be high, I'm iterating so that I can
                                improve quality of user experience. For instance my first version
                                with no validation, missing fields, and rough visual design may have
                                high quality code - but have a quality of user experience level I
                                can't live with.

                                The word "quality" is a tough one. To some it means no bugs. To
                                developers it might mean no bugs, and good maintainable design. To UX
                                people it applies to the quality experience. Of course all are right
                                and important.

                                > I think what you mean by "not releasable" is code that is not function
                                > complete, or whose usability is embarassingly bad so that you would not
                                > dream to put it in front of an end-user (even a very sympathetic and
                                > understanding one). Is that correct?

                                yup. I guess I mean non-releasable software.

                                -Jeff
                              • Jeff Patton
                                ... Sadly that true Agile environment seems to be hard to find lately. As Agile has arrive at the other side of the chasm - I see lots of companies adopting
                                Message 15 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                                  --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                                  <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
                                  > Do you find that as they work more and more on a true agile environment
                                  > they start relaxing more (assuming of course that developpers ARE
                                  > responsive to their requests for changes)?

                                  Sadly that "true" Agile environment seems to be hard to find lately.
                                  As Agile has arrive at the other side of the chasm - I see lots of
                                  companies adopting practices from Agile development, but keeping their
                                  traditions software development lifecycle values firmly in place.
                                  Even when developers are happy to make changes, the project manager
                                  often pushes back after realizing that this will have impact on the
                                  project plan.

                                  It's tough to get everyone in a big team, particularly in large
                                  organizations, to take their waterfall hat off.

                                  -Jeff
                                • Desilets, Alain
                                  ... This is very much in line about how I think about the code too. I make sure the code is good enough that I can send it out to test users. That means bug
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                                    > > I'm a little puzzled by what you mean by this part of your post:
                                    > >
                                    > > > But, when I say working code - I mean working code that's
                                    > not much
                                    > > > better than a prototype. I don't mean releasable working
                                    > code. For
                                    > > > some it may be crystal clear - for others it all seems to
                                    > confusing
                                    > > > and ad hoc to live with
                                    > >
                                    > > Do you mean that for example, it's OK to produce code that is buggy
                                    > > while you are iterating in software?
                                    >
                                    > Nope - I mean that it's OK to produce software I wouldn't put
                                    > in front of the consumer. For instance I may leave field
                                    > validation, some optional fields, and some visual design
                                    > elements out of the first iteration - but definitely not out
                                    > of the release.

                                    This is very much in line about how I think about the code too.

                                    I make sure the code is good enough that I can send it out to test
                                    users. That means bug free, and doing something useful. But that does
                                    not mean that it can always be deployed in a real use setting. For
                                    example, often there is a new feature that I know it is too slow and
                                    would crumble under the weight of the traffic.

                                    Alain
                                  • Desilets, Alain
                                    ... There are two ways to read what you said. Interpretation 1: Teams that started using Agile in the early days and did it right are still doing it right.
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
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                                      > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                                      > <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
                                      > > Do you find that as they work more and more on a true agile
                                      > > environment they start relaxing more (assuming of course that
                                      > > developpers ARE responsive to their requests for changes)?
                                      >
                                      > Sadly that "true" Agile environment seems to be hard to find lately.
                                      > As Agile has arrive at the other side of the chasm - I see
                                      > lots of companies adopting practices from Agile development,
                                      > but keeping their traditions software development lifecycle
                                      > values firmly in place.
                                      > Even when developers are happy to make changes, the project
                                      > manager often pushes back after realizing that this will have
                                      > impact on the project plan.
                                      >
                                      > It's tough to get everyone in a big team, particularly in
                                      > large organizations, to take their waterfall hat off.

                                      There are two ways to read what you said.

                                      Interpretation 1: Teams that started using Agile in the early days and
                                      did it right are still doing it right. It's the late adopters who are
                                      having difficulty taking off their waterfall hat.

                                      Interpreation 2: Even early adopters of Agile are now leaning back
                                      towards a more waterfall approach.

                                      I guess what you are seeing is interpretation 1, right? If so, I am not
                                      that surprised, although I would have thought that agile was so
                                      obviously effective that even late comers would "get it".

                                      Alain
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