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Re: [XP] Any advice on trailing XP?

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  • David Putman (DavidPutman.com)
    ... to ... company ... decided ... I d like to thank Andrew for plugging our company, eXoftware. We are actually based in Dublin but, thanks to the wonders of
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 28, 2003
      Andrew McDonagh wrote:

      > I've been extolling the virtues (that I have seen other people have) of
      > XP for the last year now at work. So when eXoftware in London invited me
      to
      > the XP conference day I asked other non-proponents of XP within our
      company
      > to go instead. Thankfully our Software Manager & Technical Director
      decided
      > that they should go - they went with scepticism in mind....

      > However, I'm pleased to see that they think XP could very well have a
      > benefit to out company

      I'd like to thank Andrew for plugging our company, eXoftware. We are
      actually based in Dublin but, thanks to the wonders of modern air travel
      find that most of our customer base is now in the UK. I'm glad to see that
      at least two of the attendees of our 'Education Day' gained something from
      it and it is feedback like this that makes it worth the while.
      For any other XPers out there in the UK, I should mention that other
      upcoming events are:
      * 4th June we are holding an educational event for managers who are
      interested in XP/Agile technologies in Edinburgh
      * 5th June we are holding a similar event in London.
      Both of these events are free but please notify bHanly@... if you
      wish to attend so that we can plan the logistics, etc.
      We believe we are the only dedicated Agile training/mentoring company in
      Ireland and the UK, that is all we do. We don't teach languages or anything
      else - just XP and agile methods.
      We also believe that we have a responsibility to educate the community,
      which is why we hold these free events.

      BTW: Andrew, please feel free to ask us for advice :)

      Regards


      David Putman
      Senior Mentor
      eXoftware.
      Ireland House Business Centre
      Ireland House
      150/151 New Bond Street
      London W1S 2TX
      England
      p: +44 (0) 1727 831 961
      m: +44 (0) 7732 671 791
      e: dputman@...
      w: http://www.exoftware.com
    • Andrew McDonagh
      HI David, oh right didn t realise about Ireland. No need to thank I m just grateful that the day wasn t a selling eXoftware day but actual an educational
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 28, 2003
        HI David,

        oh right didn't realise about Ireland.

        No need to thank I'm just grateful that the day wasn't a 'selling eXoftware'
        day but actual an educational day.

        >BTW: Andrew, please feel free to ask us for advice :)

        I sure will thanks again...

        and so in that vain....what advice would you give (apart from getting in
        eXoftware - as we aren't in the position yet to be able to justify the
        expenditure of consultancy ;-)

        Andy


        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: David Putman (DavidPutman.com)
        > [mailto:davidputman@...]
        > Sent: 28 April 2003 12:33
        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [XP] Any advice on trailing XP?
        >
        >
        > Andrew McDonagh wrote:
        >
        > > I've been extolling the virtues (that I have seen other people have) of
        > > XP for the last year now at work. So when eXoftware in London
        > invited me
        > to
        > > the XP conference day I asked other non-proponents of XP within our
        > company
        > > to go instead. Thankfully our Software Manager & Technical Director
        > decided
        > > that they should go - they went with scepticism in mind....
        >
        > > However, I'm pleased to see that they think XP could very well have a
        > > benefit to out company
        >
        > I'd like to thank Andrew for plugging our company, eXoftware. We are
        > actually based in Dublin but, thanks to the wonders of modern air travel
        > find that most of our customer base is now in the UK. I'm glad to see that
        > at least two of the attendees of our 'Education Day' gained something from
        > it and it is feedback like this that makes it worth the while.
        > For any other XPers out there in the UK, I should mention that other
        > upcoming events are:
        > * 4th June we are holding an educational event for managers who are
        > interested in XP/Agile technologies in Edinburgh
        > * 5th June we are holding a similar event in London.
        > Both of these events are free but please notify
        > bHanly@... if you
        > wish to attend so that we can plan the logistics, etc.
        > We believe we are the only dedicated Agile training/mentoring company in
        > Ireland and the UK, that is all we do. We don't teach languages
        > or anything
        > else - just XP and agile methods.
        > We also believe that we have a responsibility to educate the community,
        > which is why we hold these free events.
        >
        > BTW: Andrew, please feel free to ask us for advice :)
        >
        > Regards
        >
        >
        > David Putman
        > Senior Mentor
        > eXoftware.
        > Ireland House Business Centre
        > Ireland House
        > 150/151 New Bond Street
        > London W1S 2TX
        > England
        > p: +44 (0) 1727 831 961
        > m: +44 (0) 7732 671 791
        > e: dputman@...
        > w: http://www.exoftware.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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      • David Putman (DavidPutman.com)
        ... eXoftware ... Well, as I said before, a lot of it is about community and putting back what you take out. Funnily enough, we ve never really needed to do a
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 28, 2003
          Andrew McDonagh wrote:

          > No need to thank I'm just grateful that the day wasn't a 'selling
          eXoftware'
          > day but actual an educational day.

          Well, as I said before, a lot of it is about community and putting back what
          you take out.
          Funnily enough, we've never really needed to do a lot of selling, the
          'product' sells itself.


          > what advice would you give

          Start slowly.
          * 1. Find your greatest pain and ease that.
          * 2. Find your next greatest pain and ease that.
          * 3. Repeat 2 until pain free.

          Seriously:
          Teach your guys the value of feedback. The quicker you know about
          problems, the quicker you can solve them.
          Automate your build process and get it building as many times as you can
          stand every day.
          Start working test-first.
          Get your team to integrate as frequently as possible.
          Get them all to read the 'White Book'.
          Start using iterations and continuously plan.

          Have a retrospective at the end of each iteration.
          Keep a diary of your progress.
          Keep us posted on how its going.

          Good luck.

          David Putman
          eXoftware.
          Ireland House Business Centre
          Ireland House
          150/151 New Bond Street
          London W1S 2TX
          England
          p: +44 (0) 1727 831 961
          m: +44 (0) 7732 671 791
          e: dputman@...
          w: http://www.exoftware.com
          w: http://www.davidputman.com
        • rachelclairedavies
          Andrew, If you would like to meet other people and talk about XP informally, the eXtreme Tueday Club (a non-profit organisation) meet every week in London see
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 28, 2003
            Andrew,
            If you would like to meet other people and talk about XP informally,
            the eXtreme Tueday Club (a non-profit organisation) meet every week
            in London see www.xpdeveloper.com for details.
            Dave has been coming to our meetings for a couple of years now.
            Rachel

            --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "David Putman
            \(DavidPutman.com\)" <davidputman@d...> wrote:
            > Andrew McDonagh wrote:
            >
            > > I've been extolling the virtues (that I have seen other people
            have) of
            > > XP for the last year now at work. So when eXoftware in London
            invited me
            > to
            > > the XP conference day I asked other non-proponents of XP within
            our
            > company
            > > to go instead. Thankfully our Software Manager & Technical
            Director
            > decided
            > > that they should go - they went with scepticism in mind....
            >
            > > However, I'm pleased to see that they think XP could very well
            have a
            > > benefit to out company
            >
            > I'd like to thank Andrew for plugging our company, eXoftware. We
            are
            > actually based in Dublin but, thanks to the wonders of modern air
            travel
            > find that most of our customer base is now in the UK. I'm glad to
            see that
            > at least two of the attendees of our 'Education Day' gained
            something from
            > it and it is feedback like this that makes it worth the while.
            > For any other XPers out there in the UK, I should mention that
            other
            > upcoming events are:
            > * 4th June we are holding an educational event for managers
            who are
            > interested in XP/Agile technologies in Edinburgh
            > * 5th June we are holding a similar event in London.
            > Both of these events are free but please notify bHanly@e... if you
            > wish to attend so that we can plan the logistics, etc.
            > We believe we are the only dedicated Agile training/mentoring
            company in
            > Ireland and the UK, that is all we do. We don't teach languages or
            anything
            > else - just XP and agile methods.
            > We also believe that we have a responsibility to educate the
            community,
            > which is why we hold these free events.
            >
            > BTW: Andrew, please feel free to ask us for advice :)
            >
            > Regards
            >
            >
            > David Putman
            > Senior Mentor
            > eXoftware.
            > Ireland House Business Centre
            > Ireland House
            > 150/151 New Bond Street
            > London W1S 2TX
            > England
            > p: +44 (0) 1727 831 961
            > m: +44 (0) 7732 671 791
            > e: dputman@e...
            > w: http://www.exoftware.com
          • Tracy Bialik
            Hi Andrew, ... When helping teams and organizations transition to XP, we ve found the best approach is to fully use XP from the beginning, rather than
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 28, 2003
              Hi Andrew,

              Andrew McDonagh wrote:
              > Did you find it best to start with a few of XP practises and add more
              > as time goes along, or the opposite, start using the full suite and
              > then see if you need/want to drop any?

              When helping teams and organizations transition to XP, we've found the
              best approach is to fully use XP from the beginning, rather than
              introducing a subset of practices at into the outgoing process.

              Change is often perceived as difficult and frightening. Typically, when
              we change the way we do things, we aren't as productive at first. I
              really like a technique that Josh uses to explain this. He shows a
              learning curve that demonstrates what happens when people change the way
              they work. For example, the first time you use a new tool intended to
              increase your productivity, you usually find that you go slower at
              first, because you're learning a new way to work. After a bit of
              learning, you go faster than before you had the tool.

              Adopting the practices as a whole is often better not just because the
              practices reinforce one another so well, but because it keeps the team
              from climbing one learning curve after another.

              Make sure you learn whatever lessons you can during your early forays
              into XP through meaningful Iteration Retrospectives that involve a wide
              spectrum of your Project Community. Industrial Logic has had great
              success with Retrospectives, not only after the project is complete, but
              after each Iteration. "How to Run an Iteration Retrospective" at
              http://www.industriallogic.com/papers/index.html is a one page how-to guide.

              - Tracy

              I n d u s t r i a l L o g i c , I n c .
              Tracy Bialik
              Extreme Programmer & Coach
              http://industriallogic.com
              http://industrialxp.org
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SiliconValleyPatterns/
              866-540-8336 (toll free)
              510-540-8336 (phone)
            • Andrew McDonagh
              ... snipped ... Ok, sounds good... ... Will do, and we sort of already do...but I think we could be louder... ... We already have an (ant) build system which
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 29, 2003
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: David Putman (DavidPutman.com)

                snipped
                >
                >
                > > what advice would you give
                >
                > Start slowly.
                > * 1. Find your greatest pain and ease that.
                > * 2. Find your next greatest pain and ease that.
                > * 3. Repeat 2 until pain free.

                Ok, sounds good...

                >
                > Seriously:
                > Teach your guys the value of feedback. The quicker you know about
                > problems, the quicker you can solve them.

                Will do, and we sort of already do...but I think we could be louder...

                > Automate your build process and get it building as many times
                > as you can stand every day.

                We already have an (ant) build system which can do normal developer build
                and full blown release builds (i.e. checkpointing/labelling in our SCM tool,
                building RPMs, etc...).

                We've got a task identified to setup a continuous build machine which will
                do semi-release builds(i.e. no SCM checkpointing/labelling) and run the
                unittest suite - the ant build system is almost finished, then it should
                just be a case of setting up a machine and scheduling the builds.

                > Start working test-first.

                I have just started doing this myself (2 months ago) and the results are
                just as good as it says on the tin. I've been getting the other guys on the
                team to start TDDing and they are slowly coming around to the ideas and
                benefits of it...I think they just need more practise.

                > Get your team to integrate as frequently as possible.

                Because of our god-awful SCM tool (MKS) we have always done continuous
                integration - well maybe not XPs idea of CI, but certainly every week as a
                maximum, right down to every change that can be immediately checked in with
                out breaking the build.

                > Get them all to read the 'White Book'.

                Will do!

                > Start using iterations and continuously plan.

                Right o.

                >
                > Have a retrospective at the end of each iteration.

                Yeah looking forward to that one, as it'll help us see how things went.

                > Keep a diary of your progress.

                Diary of the XP trial? or working in practise?

                > Keep us posted on how its going.

                I certainly will!

                >
                > Good luck.
                >
                > David Putman


                Andy
              • Andrew McDonagh
                Hi Tracy, ... I like this approach, it certain rings true with the example you give. I m not too sure that a whole team (developers,management etc) could cope
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 29, 2003
                  Hi Tracy,


                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Tracy Bialik [mailto:TracyB@...]
                  > Sent: 28 April 2003 23:55
                  > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [XP] Any advice on trailing XP?
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi Andrew,
                  >
                  > Andrew McDonagh wrote:
                  > > Did you find it best to start with a few of XP practises and add more
                  > > as time goes along, or the opposite, start using the full suite and
                  > > then see if you need/want to drop any?
                  >
                  > When helping teams and organizations transition to XP, we've found the
                  > best approach is to fully use XP from the beginning, rather than
                  > introducing a subset of practices at into the outgoing process.
                  >
                  > Change is often perceived as difficult and frightening. Typically, when
                  > we change the way we do things, we aren't as productive at first. I
                  > really like a technique that Josh uses to explain this. He shows a
                  > learning curve that demonstrates what happens when people change the way
                  > they work. For example, the first time you use a new tool intended to
                  > increase your productivity, you usually find that you go slower at
                  > first, because you're learning a new way to work. After a bit of
                  > learning, you go faster than before you had the tool.
                  >

                  I like this approach, it certain rings true with the example you give. I'm
                  not too sure that a whole team (developers,management etc) could cope with
                  full blown XP to start with - I feel there may just be too much to take in
                  all at once.

                  But I may be wrong. We are going to discuss this issue and others during
                  this week, to see how we should go about bring XP into the team, so this
                  will give me feedback on what other people within the team think



                  > Adopting the practices as a whole is often better not just because the
                  > practices reinforce one another so well, but because it keeps the team
                  > from climbing one learning curve after another.
                  >
                  > Make sure you learn whatever lessons you can during your early forays
                  > into XP through meaningful Iteration Retrospectives that involve a wide
                  > spectrum of your Project Community. Industrial Logic has had great
                  > success with Retrospectives, not only after the project is complete, but
                  > after each Iteration. "How to Run an Iteration Retrospective" at
                  > http://www.industriallogic.com/papers/index.html is a one page
                  > how-to guide.

                  Thanks for that guide! I think it'll help a lot! the retrospectives
                  certainly seem like a good idea and is one of the things that have attracted
                  the managers.

                  Cheers

                  Andy
                • ivan_r_moore
                  ... getting in ... the ... I m interested to know why it s difficult to justify expenditure on consultancy in your case (and others out there who feel the
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 29, 2003
                    > [...]
                    > and so in that vain....what advice would you give (apart from
                    getting in
                    > eXoftware - as we aren't in the position yet to be able to justify
                    the
                    > expenditure of consultancy ;-)
                    >
                    > Andy

                    I'm interested to know why it's difficult to justify
                    expenditure on consultancy in your case (and others
                    out there who feel the same).

                    If, for example, one day of Dave saved your team a
                    week of discovering how to use XP in your company
                    then I'd say that would be an easy proposition to
                    believe and easy to justify.
                    (BTW - I think it'd save your team more like a month
                    than a week!)

                    I should make it clear - don't work for eXoftware but do know Dave.
                  • Andrew McDonagh
                    ... I m not really sure as to why we can t justify the expenditure, its just what I ve been told by the Mgmt. I don t think its a political reason nor one of
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 29, 2003
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: ivan_r_moore [mailto:ivan_r_moore@...]
                      > Sent: 29 April 2003 17:24
                      > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [XP] Any advice on trailing XP?
                      >
                      >
                      > > [...]
                      > > and so in that vain....what advice would you give (apart from
                      > getting in
                      > > eXoftware - as we aren't in the position yet to be able to justify
                      > the
                      > > expenditure of consultancy ;-)
                      > >
                      > > Andy
                      >
                      > I'm interested to know why it's difficult to justify
                      > expenditure on consultancy in your case (and others
                      > out there who feel the same).

                      I'm not really sure as to why we can't 'justify' the expenditure, its just
                      what I've been told by the Mgmt.

                      I don't think its a political reason nor one of time or money. Introducing
                      XP will be a BIG deal in the company as its completely different to the
                      normal way of working. So it could be that they want to see what we do
                      ourselves before getting anyone in.

                      It could also just be that we can't do it this week or next...but the week
                      after will be better, because then the team should have a better idea as to
                      what XP is and how we 'think' we should be applying it.

                      >
                      > If, for example, one day of Dave saved your team a
                      > week of discovering how to use XP in your company
                      > then I'd say that would be an easy proposition to
                      > believe and easy to justify.

                      > (BTW - I think it'd save your team more like a month
                      > than a week!)
                      >

                      I agree absolutely! However, I think we may take you up on your kind offer
                      instead of, or as well as eXoftware.

                      > I should make it clear - don't work for eXoftware but do know Dave.
                      >

                      Cheers

                      Andy
                    • Ron Jeffries
                      ... It s an anomaly due to how budgeting works, primarily: Staff time is budgeted and free, while consultancy is an expense paid out in often unanticipated
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 29, 2003
                        On Tuesday, April 29, 2003, at 12:23:38 PM, ivan_r_moore wrote:

                        > I'm interested to know why it's difficult to justify
                        > expenditure on consultancy in your case (and others
                        > out there who feel the same).

                        > If, for example, one day of Dave saved your team a
                        > week of discovering how to use XP in your company
                        > then I'd say that would be an easy proposition to
                        > believe and easy to justify.
                        > (BTW - I think it'd save your team more like a month
                        > than a week!)

                        It's an anomaly due to how budgeting works, primarily:

                        Staff time is budgeted and free, while consultancy is an expense paid out
                        in often unanticipated dollars, typically that are not budgeted. So you can
                        waste a month of all your programmers' time and it looks like you have paid
                        nothing. Bring in one consultant and you have spent thousands.

                        There are political issues as well: "You mean you don't know how to train
                        and manage your own troops???"

                        Ron Jeffries
                        www.XProgramming.com
                        there is really no such thing as bad weather,
                        only different kinds of good weather. ~John Ruskin
                      • David Putman (DavidPutman.com)
                        ... Just a general diary of the things that happen during your progress. Could be mistakes made, could be winning ideas, anything you notice really. David
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 30, 2003
                          Andrew McDonagh wrote:
                          > Diary of the XP trial? or working in practise?

                          Just a general diary of the things that happen during your progress.
                          Could be mistakes made, could be winning ideas, anything you notice really.

                          David Putman
                          eXoftware.
                          Ireland House Business Centre
                          Ireland House
                          150/151 New Bond Street
                          London W1S 2TX
                          England
                          p: +44 (0) 1727 831 961
                          m: +44 (0) 7732 671 791
                          e: dputman@...
                          w: http://www.exoftware.com
                          w: http://www.davidputman.com
                        • Pieter Nagel
                          ... And then there s the better the devil you know factor. The consultant might come in and help you through the Gates of Enlightenment, or he might recite
                          Message 12 of 13 , Apr 30, 2003
                            On Tue, Apr 29, 2003 at 08:35:52PM -0400, Ron Jeffries wrote:

                            > Staff time is budgeted and free, while consultancy is an expense paid out
                            > in often unanticipated dollars, typically that are not budgeted. So you can
                            > waste a month of all your programmers' time and it looks like you have paid
                            > nothing. Bring in one consultant and you have spent thousands.

                            And then there's the "better the devil you know" factor.

                            The consultant might come in and help you through the Gates of
                            Enlightenment, or he might recite recite chapters from a Dummies book at
                            you.

                            Management at least kinda know what they get for their employees'
                            salaries.

                            --
                            ,_
                            /_) /| /
                            / i e t e r / |/ a g e l
                            http://www.nagel.co.za
                          • Steve Berczuk
                            ... Yes, the same is true about buying a useful tool or having your employees do manual effort to work around a flaw in an existing tool... ... On the other
                            Message 13 of 13 , May 1, 2003
                              Pieter Nagel wrote:
                              >>Someone else wrote:
                              >>Staff time is budgeted and free, while consultancy is an expense paid out
                              >>in often unanticipated dollars, typically that are not budgeted. So you can
                              >>waste a month of all your programmers' time and it looks like you have paid
                              >>nothing. Bring in one consultant and you have spent thousands.

                              Yes, the same is true about buying a useful tool or having your
                              employees do manual effort to work around a flaw in an existing tool...
                              >
                              > And then there's the "better the devil you know" factor.

                              On the other hand I have also seen the situation where an outsider's
                              input is given more value than an insider... which points to management
                              not really believing in their staff.

                              In the end, I think that the main factor is that these sorts of
                              decisions are not really made rationally in spite of the documentation,
                              spreadsheets, etc that many accompany them.
                              Of course knowing that doesn't help fix it, but at least you can stop
                              trying to resolve the issues by appealing to quantative factors ;)

                              -steve

                              --
                              Steve Berczuk | steve@... | http://www.berczuk.com
                              SCM Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration
                              www.scmpatterns.com
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