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155981Re: [XP] Is experimentation an XP value?

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  • Adam Sroka
    Nov 8, 2010
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      On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 11:01 AM, Wouter Lagerweij <wouter@...> wrote:
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      > On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 7:43 AM, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:
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      > >
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      > > On Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 2:00 AM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...<ronjeffries%40acm.org>>
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      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Hello, Adam. On Sunday, November 7, 2010, at 12:08:42 AM, you
      > > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Yes, that's exactly what I was talking about. The XP folks who I know
      > > > > have a natural tendency to try new things that led them to XP in the
      > > > > first place. A lot of the folks I am dealing with now want me to
      > > > > promise that it is going to work before they try it and even then they
      > > > > seem to fear the change. They will do something if I tell them they
      > > > > have to, but that is contrary to both my values and the values that we
      > > > > would like to see them embrace. It's a tough nut.
      > > >
      > > > Have these people had Scrum training? Have they heard about Inspect
      > > > and Adapt? Are they doing retrospectives? If so, what do they do in
      > > > them if not figure out ways to improve? If not, why the hell not?
      > > >
      > >
      > > That's a very good question. They all have had some degree of
      > > training, but most could use more. They do have retrospectives, but
      > > the retrospective practice could be improved. Specifically, in some
      > > cases retrospectives devolve to pity parties and the team isn't
      > > holding itself accountable for actually following through on
      > > improvements. This seems to be a common pattern -- it is easier to
      > > identify problems than to commit to solving them.
      > >
      >
      > Indeed! The team I met last week had been doing scrum for about five
      > sprints. The results of their last retrospective were still shown on a white
      > board, and listed items such as 'improve unit testing'. This was
      > encouraging, in that they were unit testing, were doing retrospectives, and
      > wanted to improve their technical practices.
      > When I asked them *how* they were working on improving unit testing, though,
      > I got a very long pause...
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      > Note that this wasn't in any way reluctance on the teams part to follow
      > through, they just hadn't gotten the message that they could and *should*
      > take concrete steps to change. For people not used to taking that
      > responsibility, that seems to be the hardest part of scrum to really
      > perform.
      >

      This is a good time to plug Esther Derby and Diana Larsen's /Agile
      Retrospectives/. Some of the techniques are a bit touchy-feely for us
      software geeks, but it effectively makes the point about finding
      measurable improvements, committing to doing them, and then measuring
      them.

      A lot of the Kanban literature is also good in this regard. We need to
      actually look for areas to improve, measure them, attempt to improve
      them, and measure them again. It should be a bit more scientific and
      less about what the team likes and dislikes.
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