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Re: [XP] Scrum, and Revolution

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  • Steven Gordon
    ... Hi Dan, I think we all know how to roll up our sleeves and help a company incrementally improve via the inspect-and-adapt loop. That is precisely Scrum
    Message 1 of 167 , Dec 15, 2012
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      On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 8:41 PM, Dave Rooney <daverooneyca@...> wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      > Hi Steven,
      >
      > Been a while!
      >
      >
      > On 12-12-15 8:01 PM, Steven Gordon wrote:
      > >> Someone should do something about this.
      > > What is there to do except develop the silver bullet for software
      > > development?
      >
      > Stainless steel bullets would be fine... and in most places probably a
      > revolutionary improvement over the musket balls they currently use.
      >
      >
      > >> Discuss.
      > > The Agile community has made a big impact. We can continue to make
      > > marginal improvements and better explain how and why Agile works, but I
      > > believe there is no revolutionarily better approach.
      >
      > So, incrementally, Agile will become the alchemist's dream of
      > transmuting lead to... uh... silver? ;)
      >
      > As for "no revolutionarily better approach", I have a tough time
      > believing this (which could be because I don't want to believe it). I've
      > tired of the fight and am now working internally at a great company to
      > help ensure that they remain agile. This company's process has been
      > built from the ground up, adding bits as required rather than applying a
      > recipe someone else conjured. It has served them quite well as they
      > reach >60 people in the development group. The process has flavours
      > from open source, XP, Continuous Deployment and a dash of Lean Startup,
      > but it's unique to the company. It isn't perfect, but the process works
      > pretty damned well.
      >
      > There's something about that approach that might fit in with what Ron is
      > suggesting. There are a ton of great ideas out there, and they don't
      > all work everywhere. What would be interesting to me would be coming up
      > with some way to help groups build their process incrementally from zero
      > rather than giving them a complete answer and telling them to make it fit.
      >

      Hi Dan,

      I think we all know how to roll up our sleeves and help a company
      incrementally improve via the inspect-and-adapt loop. That is precisely
      Scrum done correctly. Nothing revolutionary there. You may use some newer
      techniques to solve some specific problems, but it is the inspect-and-adapt
      loop that is at the heart of it.

      Making that loop work requires discipline, commitment, effort, honest/open
      communication, and proper permission/support/facilitation from management.
      Those prerequisites are exactly why it does not fly in a lot of
      organizations. Getting around the organizational problems is the issue,
      not some revolution in software development techniques nor a revolutionary
      replacement for inspect-and-adapt.

      Steve


      >
      > Dave...
      >
      >
      >


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    • 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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