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Re: RE: [XP] What if legal balks at doing XP?

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  • Victor Goldberg
    On the other hand, sometimes asking too many questions, or just going up the hierarchy can get you in trouble. Of course, that would be a bad smell, but bad
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 4, 2005
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      On the other hand, sometimes asking too many questions, or just going up the hierarchy can get you in trouble. Of course, that would be a bad smell, but bad smells are part of reality.

      Victor

      ======================================
      >
      > From: "Kent Beck" <kentb@...>
      > Date: 2005/03/03 Thu AM 07:21:51 GMT
      > To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: RE: [XP] What if legal balks at doing XP?
      >
      >
      > Steve,
      >
      > I would ask the legal department for their stories, following Brad's recent
      > advice. An XP team could certainly satisfy the requirements you sketch
      > below. Whether they should, or to what degree, seems like a decision with
      > organizational consequences that should have greater visibility than just
      > the team.
      >
      > Kent Beck
      > Three Rivers Institute
      >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: swoyerse [mailto:lists@...-analytics.com]
      > > Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2005 1:23 AM
      > > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [XP] What if legal balks at doing XP?
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Hey folks,
      > >
      > > Was talking with an intellectual property attorney last week (he's
      > > with a prominent firm in the Silicon Valley), and at some point, we
      > > got on to the subject of programming. He advocated a fairly rigorous,
      > > documentation-heavy approach to software development, mostly (he
      > > argued) as a means to ensure that the provenance of all code and
      > > software artifacts can be accounted for. He's an old-school
      > > programmer-cum-attorney, and he said he cut his teeth doing coding for
      > > government contracts, which (he noted) had arduous documentation
      > > requirements. In his view, a highly disciplined, process-centered, and
      > > exhaustively documented approach is the best way companies can
      > > mitigate their risk as a result of copyright, trade secrets, or patent
      > > infringement.
      > >
      > > When I brought up the use of agile methods, he expressed doubt, saying
      > > that agile disciplines wouldn't pass legal or compliance muster in
      > > many risk-averse companies. This struck me as possibly accurate - it's
      > > likely that the most risk-averse of companies *are* the most control
      > > culture-oriented, and therefore least likely to embrace agile, after
      > > all - if wrongheaded. More to the point, based on conversations I've
      > > had with Jeff Grigg and others, I'm convinced that there are issues
      > > with the disciplined, process-centric, and documentation-heavy
      > > approach advocated by this attorney, too. Jeff has pointed out that
      > > there are a lot of problems associated with copious documentation -
      > > starting first and foremost with the possibility that a chance comment
      > > appended to a document or buried in an e-mail could come back to haunt
      > > a company in the event of a lawsuit - and that even if you document to
      > > cover all of your bases with respect to copyright infringement, you're
      > > still wide open on the issue of patent infringement.
      > >
      > > So I'm wondering, is there typically a legal hurdle - even if it's
      > > only education, or perhaps compromise (in the area of barely
      > > sufficient documentation) - that a lot of successful agile
      > > implementers must clear before XP and other methods can find a
      > > purchase in their organizations? If so, what kinds of strategies, if
      > > any, have folks employed to push agile over the top in this respect?
      > >
      > > Thanks very much for your time. Appreciate your thoughts.
      > >
      > > Best,
      > >
      > > Steve
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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