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RE: [XP] From the author of the XP article at Stickminds

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  • Lowell Lindstrom
    Bill - I think your article represents a very common view towards XP. For that ... I did not take away that you were labeling it as a scam, but I don t see
    Message 1 of 203 , Sep 24, 2002
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      Bill -

      I think your article represents a very common view towards XP. For that
      reason, I think it deserves attention. A few comments below:

      > Second, some of the responses indicate I'm labeling XP as "a
      > scam." That's not true and I don't say anything nearly that
      > extreme in the column. I have a lot of hope for XP.

      I did not take away that you were labeling it as a scam, but I don't see how
      anyone could take away that you have hope. The tone of artcile was scathing
      critism, not constructive critism. Perhaps this is a byproduct of trying to
      be provocative.

      > I would very much like to see the programming/testing-related
      > practices become mainstream. Unfortunately, I believe the
      > planning and customer involvement practices may lead
      > mainstream execs to 'throw the baby out with the bath water."

      That is defintely a risk and it is good to be reminded of it. Usually, the
      only solution here is to do it and prove that it works for you. The testing
      practices do not require any label of XP or Agile. Many of the programming
      practices can be practiced regardless of how you plan, design, or specify

      > I have some recent experience with a new generation of
      > prototyping tool that might, if incorporated into the
      > methodology, go a long way toward mitigating the liklihood of
      > that happening. This is what I'd very much like to discuss with you.

      That is great.

      Just because XP does not specify those tools should not discourage you or
      anyone to use them to understand the requirements. If the have the promise
      that you describe, then the results will support their broader use. It is
      not clear to me how the article advances your desire to see broader
      awareness and acceptance of those tools.

      Do a project, use the tools as a front end, use the XP practices that you
      like for programming and testing, then tell the WORLD about it. What was
      good? What was not so good? What would you do different? XP is not the
      end of the journey, it is just the current watering hole that is
      particularly tasty for many. We'll learn more with every project that we

      > The root of the IT credibility problem lies, IMO, in
      > requirements definition and testing. XP is contributing to
      > the second. XP's solution to requirements definition,
      > however, "won't hunt" in the mainstream. I said more about
      > "why" in my response to Bret Pettichord's response to the
      > column on Stickyminds. What I said, in part, is this.

      To me, this is a moot debate. The requirements definition in XP is a light
      as it gets. That is not going to work in all environments. Whether it
      *could* work is an interesting debate, but purely theoretical. The reality
      is that even if it *could*, it will not for a number of organizational and
      cultural reasons. I believe this is part of your point, but stating that XP
      doesn't address it is kicking a dead horse. If XP does not address a
      problem, then state your solution, preferably with a case study that we can
      learn from.

      > I don't see XP addressing constraints in a way that gives business
      > executives the information they need to make the decisions
      > they are charged with making.

      XP does say to add what you need when you need it. XP does say to
      communicate. XP's goal is not to have everything ever needed to succeed on
      a software project. There are other resources that take that approach. XP
      is striving for the minimum and then challenging you to overcome the
      obstacles that would force you to add more complexity. You won't overcome
      them all and in those cases you adapt.

      > With respect to customer involvement, I've never had the good
      > fortune to work on an IT project where the customer
      > representative was given a reprieve from their normal job
      > duties. Instead, they're asked to do both their normal job
      > and to provide input / feedback to the development team. I
      > don't expect this to change. XP's insistence that the
      > customer be involved throughout the project, rather than at
      > selected points, exacerbates the customer rep's problem. Burn
      > out is imminent.

      I agree with this. It is the most common problem I personally face as an XP
      Customer and usually one of the biggest challenges we see with out clients.
      That said, it has an obstacle that many have overcome.

      > I'd be pleased to find out my thinking is flawed. I'm very
      > concerned about the possible implications for my friends who
      > work in IT shops if it's not.

      I don't have a real issue with much of your thinking. But, I think your
      message would reach a broader audience if you approach it from a tone of
      "here is where we were unable to do XP as written and here is a cool way we

      But perhaps that is not provocative enough. ;-)


      Lowell Lindstrom
      Object Mentor, Inc | www.objectmentor.com | 1-800-338-6716
    • Laurent Bossavit
      Alex: Perhaps the following paper from the people at Connextra might help answer your concern and query : Innovation and Sustainability with Gold Cards
      Message 203 of 203 , Oct 7 1:33 AM
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        Perhaps the following paper from the people at Connextra might help
        answer your concern and query :

        "Innovation and Sustainability with Gold Cards"


        Daddy? What's this little red button for?
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