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Re: [XP] Scrum, and Revolution

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  • Wouter Lagerweij
    I like to think it s not two distinct categories but a continuum. I was discussing our current project today, with a colleague. We realised that we had many
    Message 1 of 167 , Dec 10, 2012
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      I like to think it's not two distinct categories but a continuum.

      I was discussing our current project today, with a colleague. We realised
      that we had many surprises (no surprise there:-), and yet that we had been
      slowly building up to a way of working that we'd known we wanted to end up
      with from the start. Something that would be fairly recognisable as XP,
      also known as 'proper Scrum':-) (even if parts of the project are
      officially doing Kanban).

      There was no way that we'd get the roughly 50 people large team that had so
      far only done waterfall project to do it right from the start, though.
      We got some things in from the start. One week sprints, testing within the
      sprint, 5-10 small stories per sprint ("we'll estimate when we have some
      more idea of our capacity as a team" :-). Those were easy.
      Automating acceptance tests, increasing unit testing, even real continuous
      integration were much more of a struggle, but after 5-6 months seem to have
      landed. Nice, automatable, acceptance tests are used now, and defined
      before the sprint. We still haven't arrived at (acceptance) testing first,
      but it no longer seems impossible. We seem to have a good chance of
      arriving at continuous delivery, even.

      So we're definitely on 'doing kind of well, but not REALLY well'. But it
      seems that that is a phase you need to go through most every time in new
      teams/companies/projects. XP gives a good direction though, even if it's
      not the only source of inspiration.

      Shame that this is a one-off project with mostly hired help, so we're not
      building a new agile organisation. But lots of people with new and positive
      agile experience is good. No revolution, though.

      Wouter





      On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 6:37 PM, RonJeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      > Scrum comes in two forms:
      >
      > One: Stuff that works kind of well, but not VERY well.
      > Two: Extreme Programming.
      >
      > Scrum as a movement continues to grow, but it's not really going anywhere.
      >
      > Someone should do something about this.
      >
      > Discuss.
      >
      > Ron Jeffries
      > www.XProgramming.com
      > It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the
      > chance?
      > -- Ronald Reagan
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >



      --
      Wouter Lagerweij | wouter@...
      http://www.lagerweij.com | @wouterla <http://twitter.com/#!/wouterla>


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Tom Rossen
      Rob, Thanks for your kind offer. I am currently gainfully employed - until Feb. 2, when my current contract runs out. Northern Trust renewed it as many times
      Message 167 of 167 , Dec 30, 2012
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        Rob,

        Thanks for your kind offer. I am currently gainfully employed - until Feb.
        2, when my current contract runs out. Northern Trust renewed it as many
        times as they could, but there's a hard limit of 1.5 years.

        Re the high-performing teams: it's funny, but I really think I prefer
        working with an organization that's struggling with Agile. I'm extremely
        curious as to why XP practices, which seemed so obvious and satisfying when
        I first read Kent Beck's book years ago, are so frustrating for developers
        and managers who aren't used to them and didn't volunteer for them. I was
        rather seriously burned on my previous engagement when the company was
        acquired by a conglomerate and the policy of openness to Agile suddenly
        evaporated, so my insistence on TDD - which no longer seems as doomed as it
        would have been just a year ago, based on what I'm seeing now in the
        Chicago area - is protection against that sort of thing.

        So I'm curious about the high-performing teams you mention - at least in
        the Chicago area: I don't intend to relocate or commute a long distance (I
        worked in Madison, WI for several years after the dot-com-bomb wiped out
        the Chicago market - not a fun commute).

        Tom


        On Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 2:30 PM, Rob Myers <rob.myers@...>wrote:

        > **
        >
        >
        > Tom,
        >
        > Thanks for the supportive reply!
        >
        >
        > > 35 years in my case, and amen! Here's a snippet from the cover letter
        > I've
        > > been sending out recently:
        >
        > Tom, if you are not currently gainfully employed, I can point you to a few
        > truly high-performing teams across the country. They are in the minority,
        > as most software/IT organizations struggle to change those
        > command-and-control cultures, and to foster passion and creativity in both
        > Product and Development areas.
        >
        > > *I just thought of an analogy to explain why I am so single-minded about
        >
        > > TDD. Suppose you need an operation and you're looking for a hospital to
        > do
        > > it. A major hospital sends you a wonderful brochure explaining how
        > > successful they are, what a high-tech surgical suite they have,, etc.,
        > etc.
        > > But when you call up and ask them whether the surgeons wash their hands
        > > before operating, they say, "Why would we want to do that?" Oh yes,
        > > surgery was practiced for centuries before surgeons ever scrubbed up -
        > it's
        > > a great tradition. But I don't think you'd want to have anything to do
        > with
        > > a hospital like that. That's how I feel about TDD. It's a matter of
        > > funda**mental
        > > software hygiene. *
        >
        > It's a perfect analogy. Scott Bain uses this in his book /Emergent Design/
        > as one example of how software development is similar to surgery. (Aside:
        > Apologies if I popped an original-idea bubble: So often I find I think of
        > something original, only to spot it in a blog post the next day. It's the
        > Newton-Leibniz Effect ;-) The medical field provides an analogy that gets
        > us much farther than bridge-building. Of course, no analogy is perfect, but
        > I often find myself thinking "Doctor, it hurts when I do *this*!" ;-)
        >
        > Happy Holidays!
        >
        >
        > Rob
        >
        > Rob.Myers@...
        > Twitter: @agilecoach
        > http://www.agileInstitute.com/
        >
        >
        >


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