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Re: New Article: Planning the Project

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  • Simon Jones
    ... not ... at ... decisions ... notes. If ... both ... This ... well, as always on this list I m wary of throwing up /any/ definition as there s sure to be a
    Message 1 of 207 , Dec 4, 2007
      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie
      <lists@...> wrote:
      > Simon Jones wrote:
      > > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie
      > > <lists@> wrote:
      > >> Simon Jones wrote:
      > >>> --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie
      > >>> <lists@> wrote:
      > >>>> Simon Jones wrote:
      > >>>>> Incidentally.. slightly off topic, I was chatting about this
      > > with
      > >>>>> Pete the other night and got onto the topic of retrospectives.
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>> I've never been a fan for the same reason. Interpreting the
      > > past
      > >>> with
      > >>>>> hindsight.
      > >>>> Hmmm, I wonder if there's a link between not liking
      > > retrospectives
      > >>> (and,
      > >>>> seemingly, misinterpreting what they are) and this tendency
      > > to
      > >>> learn
      > >>>> from the past.
      > >>> Nope, I don't think so.
      > >>>
      > >>> And as I went on to mention, I prefer the idea of a diary.
      > >>> Information gathered without the benefit of hindsight is, I
      > > think,
      > >>> potentially of more value.
      > >> And how does that data provide value without going back, looking
      > > it,
      > >> and thinking about it?
      > >
      > > I didn't say one shouldn't go back and look at it. What I said
      > > earlier in the thread is that its more valuable to review
      > > and thinking that occured /at the time/...
      > >
      > > The memory fades quickly and the act of remembering, even over a
      > > short period distorts our view of it.
      > Deciding what to record at the time also distorts our view of it.
      > Keeping paper notes is not entirely unlike keeping in-memory
      notes. If
      > you read Norm's book and Esther & Diana's book, you'll see that
      > start (after a safety exercise) with looking at collected data.
      > comes from both memory and artifacts.
      > I guess I'm puzzled over your statement that you're "not a fan of
      > retrospectives." What, to you, is a retrospective?

      well, as always on this list I'm wary of throwing up /any/ definition
      as there's sure to be a dozen viewpoints on what is the /correct/
      definition. I don't personally believe anything in XP is hard-and-
      fast, nor do I believe there has to be one viewpoint or one approach.

      But, as simply as I can I would say its a

      ..reasonably regular review of what we've done so far, how we've done
      it and looking for any areas where we might make improvements. Its
      not necessarily on a fixed schedule, although I've heard suggestions
      about once per iteration or once per sprint etc.. Its usually done as
      some form of meeting, away from the business of delivery'

      I really wouldn't want to nail it down any further than that I guess.

      I'm not a fan myself. That's not to say I don't see /any/ value, but
      IMO if you're finding you're holding lots of retrospectives I think
      this is indicative of some other kind of failure.

      Improvement should be continual. I expect discussions about it, ideas
      getting floated and new things being tried to be a continual activity
      thats part of every day of XP.

      If someone has spotted something they feel can be improved I think
      the right time to raise it is there and then. If it can't be
      expressed, discussed, tried there and then onyl then I would consider
      scheduling some time to discuss that idea away from the desks.

      Perhaps, because I am an an agile project/product manager (and only a
      reluctant developer these days) this taints my view, but over the
      years I have become increasingly weary of formal meetings,
      scheduled 'talk time' and such like. I find the idea of 'scheduling'
      time to review what we're doing to be artifical, stilted and counter-
      productive. (perhaps I could throw in here the whole issue of meeting
      culture. Some people are just not good in meetings. Meetings have a
      bias toward string personalities, however collaborative they are)

      I don't agree with you that
      'Deciding what to record at the time also distorts our view of it. '

      You are trying to capture/discuss something /as it happens/
      (including any current biases you might be experiencing) when the
      situation is there before you and you are able to better
      consider /all/ the factors that come into play. Its not perfect, but
      its better than historical analysis IMO and far better than organised
      naval gazing.

      Now, I will agree its possible to run contructive retro's and for
      some it may be a good way to go (I don't believe everything is black
      or white). I will also agree that every so often I like to get the
      whole team out of the office, into the pub and chatting about work,
      putting the world to rights and discussing improvements.

      I just don't like organised retro's. I'm not stopping the team
      holding them. If they really want to I'll attend... I'd just prefer
      an environment where improvements are happening continuously.

      If someone feels we should halt the 'production line' I want them to
      pull the chain there and then.

      Hope that helps.

      > - George
      > --
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------
      > * George Dinwiddie *
      > Software Development
      > Consultant and Coach
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------
    • Jim Shore
      While these sorts of tools are useful for distributed teams and can encourage agile adoption, I think many do more harm than good. They enable bad behaviors
      Message 207 of 207 , Dec 7, 2007
        While these sorts of tools are useful for distributed teams and can
        encourage agile adoption, I think many do more harm than good. They
        enable bad behaviors (just as CI servers enable 4-hour build times).
        They often act as a substitute for face-to-face communication,
        working directly together, and big visible charts. Exactly the
        opposite of what successful agile teams need.

        I've yet to see one that I thought was helpful for a collocated
        team. I've seen plenty of teams that could have been collocated use
        tools like this to avoid rich collaboration, without even realizing it.

        I haven't looked at Mingle yet.


        On Dec 6, 2007, at 4:15 PM, Four Hewes, Caspian Design wrote:

        > Well, what do folks think of the _idea_ of an "Application Lifecycle
        > Management (ALM) solution" such as ResultSpace?
        > Can a many-user software tool support and encourage (maybe even
        > enforce) a group's agile methods? Is the tool overhead worth the
        > gains?
        > Would "People over Tools" dictate that these sorts of automating
        > approaches are wrong-headed?
        > Anyone have experience with ThoughtWorks' Mingle?
        > I am looking at a couple upcoming web app dev projects that I'd like
        > to structure with at least some agile/XP practices. I'm wondering if
        > these sorts of tools may help support the adoption of agile/XP
        > discplines for newcomers. Could be just a crutch though...
        > I'd appreciate insights, comments, etc.
        > Thanks,
        > At 2:34 PM -0500 12/6/07, Edmund Schweppe wrote:
        > Overall, my guess is that this ResultSpace thing isn't what XP folks
        > would consider "agile". It sounds more like a lot of branding being
        > applied to some Sapient internal apps that they want to try and make
        > some money on.
        > 12/6/07, Four wrote:
        > http://www.ResultSpace.com/
        > Sapient's "Renowned Agile Development Methodology"... Anyone know
        > more about their expertise, claims and this new tool? Is it like
        > ThoughtWorks' Migle?
        > --
        > --
        > Four Hewes, Principal
        > Caspian Design | A Hybrid Consultancy
        > four@...
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        James Shore, Titanium I.T. LLC
        co-author of The Art of Agile Development--now available!

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        email: jshore@...
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