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RE: [XP] Re: Do it like I do

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  • Steve Bate
    ... I ve seen teams use agile approaches (I don t care if it s called XP or not) and be very successful. They didn t start with all the XPE1 practices. I m not
    Message 1 of 79 , Mar 2, 2005
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      > From: glbrown@... [mailto:glbrown@...]
      > In my experience a beginning XP team will get a better result if
      > they do all of the XPE1 practices for several months. Long enough
      > to get good at them. After that some customization is appropriate,
      > but not required.

      I've seen teams use agile approaches (I don't care if it's called
      XP or not) and be very successful. They didn't start with all the
      XPE1 practices. I'm not sure what conclusions we can draw from this
      other than our experiences differ.

      > In my experience, many beginning teams are reluctant to try various
      > practices for various reasons. In every case where I have failed to
      > persuade beginning teams to do all of the practices all of the time,
      > to the best of their ability, we have experienced problems directly
      > related to the missing practice(s). When the missing practices were
      > added, the problems were immediately reduced and eventually overcome.

      Are you sure? I mean, are you sure that this was the root cause of
      the problems? Did the team understand and buy into agile values and
      principles? If not, it's understandable that they might not feel some
      of the practices are valuable. If they did buy into the values and
      principles, what kept them from adopting practices based on those
      values and principles?

      Is it possible the difficulties actually taught them the benefit
      of adopting different values and principles, enabling them to do
      the practices with some real understanding rather than doing them
      only in compliance with a coach's request?

      I wonder about the results of telling a team to /do/ something
      different without teaching them to /be/ something different first.
      I see the latter as a key benefit of XP and a consistent underlying
      message in both XPE1 and XPE2. I believe a team that fully embraces
      XP values and principles will find an appropriate set of practices
      for their specific team in their specific circumstances.

      I realize this makes a coach's job more difficult than telling
      the team to just "do it by the book." It requires the coach to be
      as agile as the team they are coaching. If I were on a team being
      coached in XP, I'd rather have a coach that presents options with
      context (values and principles) and tradeoffs and lets the team
      choose what will be most beneficial for them now (which may be
      different than what will be best in the future as the team grows
      in understanding).

      Steve
    • glbrown@inebraska.com
      ... I agree with you. My point was that XPE1 is a very good starting point for beginning XP teams. I m sure that there are other good starting points. I
      Message 79 of 79 , Mar 22, 2005
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        Quoting Kent Beck <kentb@...>:

        >
        > Gary,
        >
        > When playing a game, you artificially limit the variability of the
        > environment. When developing software, you have to deal with the full
        > panoply of human variability. That's why following simple rules doesn't work
        > in software development. That said, there is commonality of principle and
        > practice to some of the good ways to develop software, which is why
        > expressing values, principles, and practices is helpful.
        >
        > Kent Beck
        > Three Rivers Institute

        I agree with you. My point was that XPE1 is a very good starting point for
        beginning XP teams. I'm sure that there are other good starting points. I
        think that teams ought to adjust their practices, after they know what works
        for them, what doesn't, and why. I think that the only way to know those
        things are to do the practices for a sufficient period of time (probably 3 - 6
        months).

        All of the teams that I have worked with have struggled with one or more of the
        practices, with predictable results. I have had a meeting with each of my
        teams, before iteration 1, where we agreed as a team to follow the practices
        for 12 weeks, then decide if we want to adjust. In no case were we perfect,
        but
        we got better over time.

        GB.
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