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Re: [XP] [semi ot] Measurement , language and XP

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  • Ron Jeffries
    ... Very interesting, John. Your thoughts here definitely seem to go in the same direction as I ve been raving ineffectually about. I m not sure that we can
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 1, 2005
      On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 11:50:43 AM, jhrothjr wrote:

      > If I say: "show me your requirements process," and I see a number of
      > people sitting in cubicles busily creating large Word dccuments, is
      > this XP? Well, probably not. If on the other hand I see a group of
      > people in a room, index cards with stuff written on them scattered on
      > a table, and talking to each other. Is this XP? Well, maybe. For one
      > thing, I don't know that they're disucssing project requirements! For
      > another, it could as well be Crystal Clear, Scrum or another process.
      > At least it's looking better than the first example!

      > XP is not an object. It is a process that is composed of other
      > processes. If someone asks: "What is this _thing_ called XP?" the only
      > legitimate answer is: "There is no such _thing_ as XP." It is a
      > process, not a thing. You can do XP, you cannot have an XP.

      > Nominalizations exist because they serve as a useful shorthand for
      > when we want to talk about processes, but like any metaphor, you can
      > get into real conceptual trouble if you carry them too far.

      > We can look at XP as a collection of processes (practices) or we can
      > look at it as a set of criteria for selecting processes (the values).
      > In the latter sense, we can ask about the feedback loops inherent in
      > each process, we can ask about what kind of communication each process
      > needs, and how variations in communication style will impact the process.

      Very interesting, John. Your thoughts here definitely seem to go in
      the same direction as I've been raving ineffectually about. I'm not
      sure that we can even answer in a solid way whether a team is
      "doing" XP, but as you point out we can observe things that point in
      a direction.

      I guess I'm just saying that to me, "What might we do next if we
      embrace the thing we understand as XP," is a more useful question
      than "Are we doing XP" ever can be. H, I don't know, maybe it
      doesn't even matter. I felt that it did.

      Ron Jeffries
      www.XProgramming.com
      Questioner: How do I sell my executive team on doing this stuff?
      Jim Highsmith: Don't. Just do it. They don't know what you're doing anyway.
    • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
      From: Steve Bate To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 1, 2005
        From: "Steve Bate" <steve.at.xplanner.org@...>
        To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
        <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
        Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 11:37 AM
        Subject: RE: [XP] [semi ot] Measurement , language and XP


        >
        >> From: jhrothjr [mailto:yahoogroups@...]
        >>...
        >> The reason this is important is that the entire concept of measurement
        >> belongs to the world of nouns - that is, things that exist in physical
        >> reality. To measure a verb, we have to poke around the edges, find
        >> some related nouns, and measure them.
        >>
        >>...
        >> XP is not an object. It is a process that is composed of other
        >> processes. If someone asks: "What is this _thing_ called XP?" the only
        >> legitimate answer is: "There is no such _thing_ as XP." It is a
        >> process, not a thing. You can do XP, you cannot have an XP.
        >
        > I agree that XP is not an physical object. I'd be surprised that
        > anyone would disagree with that statement. However, measurement
        > doesn't only apply to physical objects. See also:
        >
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measurement
        >
        > I see XP as a set of behavioral guidelines. Why would it not be
        > possible to measure the match between a team's behavior and the
        > behavioral guidelines? If the guidelines are not defined well
        > enough or are somewhat inconsistent or vague, then that would
        > cause measurement challenges. At times, I think this is the
        > concern that Charles has been raising.
        >
        > It seems legitimate to ask what is this "thing" called XP.
        > Things are not only physical entities but can also identify
        > concepts, ideas, symbols, and on (at least by the common
        > definitions).

        Let's take a real simple example. Running is an activity.
        How do you measure it? You can, for example,
        measure speed, but that is simply a map into a physical
        proxy: distance and time, the latter of which also has to
        be mapped into a physical proxy before we can measure
        it: a clock or something similar.

        One mile in four minutes is a physical world measurement;
        we can measure either distance or time to completely
        rediculous precision if we want to extend ourselves.
        How do you measure how close someone is to the
        gait called "running" though? Is it the stride length?
        is it the relative time each foot is on the ground? Is it
        the calories burned per distance? Is it the endorphin
        high that some runners get? The closer you try
        to actually define this activity called "running", the more
        you realize that you can recognize it when you see it,
        but an actual attempt at a clean description leaves more
        questions unanswered than it answers.

        How do I describe the activity of pair programming
        in terms that make sense to someone who _hasn't_
        experianced it? From the amount of heat that question
        stirs up, I think you'll agree that it's not an easy thing
        to do.

        "I'll know it when I see it" isn't an answer that's
        calculated to stir joy in the hard of the hard core
        numerical analyst.

        John Roth

        > Steve
      • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
        From: Ron Jeffries To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 1, 2005
          From: "Ron Jeffries"
          <ronjeffries.at.XProgramming.com@...>
          To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
          <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
          Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 2:28 PM
          Subject: Re: [XP] [semi ot] Measurement , language and XP


          >
          > On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 11:50:43 AM, jhrothjr wrote:
          >
          >> If I say: "show me your requirements process," and I see a number of
          >> people sitting in cubicles busily creating large Word dccuments, is
          >> this XP? Well, probably not. If on the other hand I see a group of
          >> people in a room, index cards with stuff written on them scattered on
          >> a table, and talking to each other. Is this XP? Well, maybe. For one
          >> thing, I don't know that they're disucssing project requirements! For
          >> another, it could as well be Crystal Clear, Scrum or another process.
          >> At least it's looking better than the first example!
          >
          >> XP is not an object. It is a process that is composed of other
          >> processes. If someone asks: "What is this _thing_ called XP?" the only
          >> legitimate answer is: "There is no such _thing_ as XP." It is a
          >> process, not a thing. You can do XP, you cannot have an XP.
          >
          >> Nominalizations exist because they serve as a useful shorthand for
          >> when we want to talk about processes, but like any metaphor, you can
          >> get into real conceptual trouble if you carry them too far.
          >
          >> We can look at XP as a collection of processes (practices) or we can
          >> look at it as a set of criteria for selecting processes (the values).
          >> In the latter sense, we can ask about the feedback loops inherent in
          >> each process, we can ask about what kind of communication each process
          >> needs, and how variations in communication style will impact the process.
          >
          > Very interesting, John. Your thoughts here definitely seem to go in
          > the same direction as I've been raving ineffectually about. I'm not
          > sure that we can even answer in a solid way whether a team is
          > "doing" XP, but as you point out we can observe things that point in
          > a direction.
          >
          > I guess I'm just saying that to me, "What might we do next if we
          > embrace the thing we understand as XP," is a more useful question
          > than "Are we doing XP" ever can be. H, I don't know, maybe it
          > doesn't even matter. I felt that it did.

          I wasn't particularly sure where it was going to go when
          I started it; only that describing XP as a "thing" seemed to
          be fundamentally wrong. I'm beginning to like Alistair's
          approach: define some properties that your approach needs
          to satisfy, and then you can define a set of practices and
          see how well they fullfill the properties.

          I'm not, however, sure how to describe the difference
          between a property and a value or a principle.

          John Roth



          >
          > Ron Jeffries
          > www.XProgramming.com
          > Questioner: How do I sell my executive team on doing this stuff?
          > Jim Highsmith: Don't. Just do it. They don't know what you're doing
          > anyway.
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Gary Brown
          If you have time, I recommend going to see Coach Carter. I found it quite inspiring, and a great example of what it takes to build a winning team and to be a
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 1, 2005
            If you have time, I recommend going to see Coach Carter. I found it
            quite inspiring, and a great example of what it takes to build a winning
            team and to be a member of a winning team. I wouldn't advise making
            your teams (teammates) run as many suicides or do as many push ups as
            Ken Carter requires, but the point is being better prepared and more
            disciplined than the competition. Learning to trust, respect, and
            depend on each other. Understanding the importance of giving your best
            effort on every play. Going full speed as long as the clock is ticking.

            The movie is not for everyone. There is a lot of offensive language,
            sex, complex social issues, gansters, drug dealers, and dirty dancing.
            If that isn't enough to get you to go, there is one memorable scene
            where Timo Cruz, a gangster, drug dealer, point guard, finally answers
            Coach Carter's question, "what is your greatest fear?". Timo recites
            the Marianne Williamson's poem, "Our Greatest Fear" ...

            Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is
            that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our
            darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be
            brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you
            not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't
            serve the world. There's nothing enlightening about shrinking so
            that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to
            make and manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just
            in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine,
            we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are
            liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates
            others.

            If only we could make it so!!!

            Gary Brown




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