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RE: [XP] Ask the Customer

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  • Dan Rawsthorne
    Laurent Bossavit [mailto:laurent@bossavit.com] ... It s not the and so on that was at issue, IMHO. It was the particular notion that the interactions of an
    Message 1 of 142 , Apr 1, 2002
      Laurent Bossavit [mailto:laurent@...]
      > Dan:
      > > > So, I guess the appropriate open question to ask is
      > simply : what do
      > > > people think the scope of XP is ? And why ?
      > >
      > > There's nothing to think about.
      > I'm pretty sure you didn't mean that the way it came out sounding. If
      > you were seriously recommending that people should *not* reflect on
      > what is or what isn't in scope for XP, I would have to ask which of
      > the books *you* have read.
      > I have to confess feeling some irritation at your reply. I'm not sure
      > where that comes from, since I usually feel pretty secure about what
      > I allow myself to think about, or not. Likeliest explanation is that
      > I'm missing something, realize it and am ticked at *that*. Some more
      > questions, then...
      > > > I really, really have trouble understanding how anything
      > that could
      > > > possibly make a project crash and burn could be "out of scope" for
      > > > XP, which is all about making projects work.
      > >
      > > No, XP is about the 4 principles, the 12 practices, and so on.
      > You are absolutely right. Unless I missed something, though, by "and
      > so on" one could well mean the sort of thing I was talking about
      > above. Maybe if you clarified just what you meant by "and so on" ?

      It's not the "and so on" that was at issue, IMHO. It was the particular
      notion that the interactions of an XP customer and other stakeholders was
      within the scope of XP.

      > > If your project is small enough, can actually get an empowered
      > > customer, and so on, then XP out of the box may work for you. In any
      > > other situation, it probably can't...
      > You hit that nail squarely on the head. XP will work only where XP is
      > defined.

      Ah, here's the thing. XP is not something that "works" or not, IMHO. It is a
      tool to be used on your project. It is often applicable in some fashion.
      It's just that it only applies to a small part of large projects.
      > If my project isn't small enough, though, I can think about how to
      > make it smaller.
      > If I don't have an empowered customer, I can think about why things
      > got this way, and how to fix that.
      > I respectfully submit my view that in either case, it is necessary to
      > do the thinking in order to be extreme, whether one ends up doing
      > things as XP recommends "out of the box" or not.
      > Does your view differ ?

      No. I meant no disrespect. I just don't want us to fall into the same trap
      that the RUPpies fell into last summer; that of saying Good = XP. XP is
      relatively well-defined and is a very good tool for us to use on our
      projects. Let's not make it more than it is.

      DrDan ;-)
      Dan Rawsthorne
    • Charlie Poole
      Daniel, ... I haven t done stories in study mode but I might try it some time. What I have usually done in this situation is to talk with the people who do
      Message 142 of 142 , Apr 7, 2002

        > > Laurent,
        > >
        > > > > Since I like to think that I devise simple solutions, that
        > puts me at a
        > > > > disadvantage in such discussions. If I give out too much of the
        > > > > solution, the client may suddenly decide they don't need me at all!
        > > >
        > > > Why would this be bad ?
        > >
        > > 1. Because I may need the job.
        > Right!
        > > 2. Because I believe the client is often wrong to think this.
        > Also right.
        > But it is still a risk and problem.
        > Are you able to get the "study" done by getting stories from the
        > client, or are you using more traditional methods?

        I haven't done stories in "study" mode but I might try it some time.

        What I have usually done in this situation is to talk with the people
        who do the work and shadow them a bit - assuming an inhouse system.
        I ask them what problems they have and what the consequences are. I
        ask them what one thing would make their jobs easier, etc. I ask
        similar questions of managers. At some point, it's clear what needs
        to be done and I write that in a report.

        The "study" isn't the design of a solution to their problems. It's
        something that outlines the problems and says I'll solve them. Well,
        it's a bit more than that, since it describes who will be involved
        in figuring out the solution and how we'll proceed to do it. I might
        recommend, for example, that we all sit around a table and think of
        the things the system will do. This "study" contributes nothing to
        the completion of the app or the sum of knowledge in the universe.
        What it does - in the situations where I have had to do it - is
        create an atmosphere in which management will empower me and others
        to solve the problems, so it does have a value.

        Charlie Poole
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