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JIT Elaboration, written

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  • David Roberts
    Please excuse the bloginess of this post but I m wondering if anyone agrees or can point out something I m missing. In reference to JIT elaboration of user
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 6, 2005
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      Please excuse the "bloginess" of this post but I'm wondering if anyone
      agrees or can point out something I'm missing.

      In reference to JIT elaboration of user stories, I'm finding value in
      writing things down. Use Cases seem to provide a good method.

      I'm finding that some developers do not like verbal elaboration of
      requirements as the _only_ means of receiving details.

      Most of the elaboration I have done has been informal low precision use
      cases with attention to: EBP level goal, intent, variations and
      exceptions.

      I believe this is an environmentally typed process tailoring which seems
      to be more applicable on larger processes. I'm also finding the approach
      of team of teams when scaling to large projects requires something I
      haven't completely figured out yet.

      David Roberts
      InnovaSystems Intl
      (619) 955-5864
    • William Pietri
      ... Would you say that their behavior is adaptive? And if so, what makes it so in their environment? (And now that I think about it, perhaps adaptive is
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 7, 2005
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        On Tue, 2005-09-06 at 14:11 -0700, David Roberts wrote:
        > In reference to JIT elaboration of user stories, I'm finding value in
        > writing things down. Use Cases seem to provide a good method.
        >
        > I'm finding that some developers do not like verbal elaboration of
        > requirements as the _only_ means of receiving details.


        Would you say that their behavior is adaptive? And if so, what makes it
        so in their environment? (And now that I think about it, perhaps
        adaptive is jargon. I mean: are the developers getting benefit from
        written instructions?)

        Also, how long to the artifacts last? I often write or sketch things,
        but on my XP projects they rarely last more than a week or two.

        William

        --
        William Pietri <william@...>
      • Steven J. Owens
        ... I can t say I ve been using User Stories per se, but we ve managed to keep keep a focus on using a short phrase to identify a need, and then using JIT
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 8, 2005
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          On Tue, Sep 06, 2005 at 02:11:04PM -0700, David Roberts wrote:
          > Please excuse the "bloginess" of this post but I'm wondering if anyone
          > agrees or can point out something I'm missing.
          >
          > In reference to JIT elaboration of user stories, I'm finding value in
          > writing things down. Use Cases seem to provide a good method.
          >
          > I'm finding that some developers do not like verbal elaboration of
          > requirements as the _only_ means of receiving details.
          >
          > Most of the elaboration I have done has been informal low precision use
          > cases with attention to: EBP level goal, intent, variations and
          > exceptions.

          I can't say I've been using User Stories per se, but we've
          managed to keep keep a focus on using a short phrase to identify a
          need, and then using JIT analysis and discussion when it's time to
          design & implement. So these comments may be applicable.

          I think the main value in _not_ having a formal, written
          design/spec is:

          a) focusing our emphasis on the idea that the discussion is the
          design, not capturing the design into a flawed text document and
          setting it (and invisible assumptions about it) in stone. Part and
          parcel of this is putting off, until the last possible moment,
          soldifying our assumptions, so we can benefit from further knowledge
          and experience gained meanwhile.

          b) focusing our emphasis on the idea that the code is the spec;
          when we attempt to express the design using a language that has to
          compile and run, this helps us to identify hidden ambiguities (if I
          can't code it, it's too fuzzy) and contradictions.

          Like anything, it's best used in moderation; just because it's
          more useful to discuss than to write, doesn't mean it's *never* useful
          to write. Sometimes you're doing enough thrashing on a topic (because
          it's large, or unexplored) that it's useful to do some of that
          thrashing on paper. Sometimes it's useful to do that thrasing on a
          whiteboard.

          Here, the point I'd expect the extremos to hammer is to avoid
          getting too attached to the product of your on-paper thrashing. Maybe
          that's why a whiteboard or a cocktail napkin are preferred thrashing
          mediums - the built-in assumption of disposability. In either case,
          it's sort of a human-language version of an exploratory spike; expect
          to keep the insights you've gained, but throw away the document and
          start the discussion afresh.

          > I believe this is an environmentally typed process tailoring which seems
          > to be more applicable on larger processes. I'm also finding the approach
          > of team of teams when scaling to large projects requires something I
          > haven't completely figured out yet.

          I suspect the problem is that discussion doesn't scale well. So
          you're back to all the large-project-team problems, which is a whole
          another conversation.

          --
          Steven J. Owens
          puff@...

          "I'm going to make broad, sweeping generalizations and strong,
          declarative statements, because otherwise I'll be here all night and
          this document will be four times longer and much less fun to read.
          Take it all with a grain of salt." - http://darksleep.com/notablog
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