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Re: Simplest Possible Process - adaptable

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  • acockburn@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/31/2004 7:43:17 AM Mountain Standard Time, extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com writes: If I ve got this right, an agile process doesn t
    Message 1 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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      In a message dated 3/31/2004 7:43:17 AM Mountain Standard Time,
      extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com writes:


      If I've got this right, an agile process doesn't need to be
      adaptable, but it could be. An adaptable process doesn't
      need to be agile, but it could be; and that might be a
      sensible goal to have. An adaptable process could not
      be defined in terms of a set of practices, though a process
      defined in terms of a small set of practices could be partially
      adaptable. If we don't define a process in terms of
      practices, we probably need to define it in terms of how we
      arrive at the process we enact. That could be a list of goals
      and a set of practices for evaluating the situation with respect
      to the goals.

      I guess that means XP is potentially partially adaptable, but
      not explicitly so because it has no specific practices that
      address adapting. "Retrospective" could be a step in that
      direction.

      <<Do you think the time for adaptable processes is nigh?>>
      --->
      At least for my money, you have it exactly right.

      RUP and Crystal are two examples of processes that intentionally adaptable.
      They run into exactly the problems you describe. RUP even is called (excluding
      its name, of course) a process framework rather than a process. My assertion
      would be that RUP is adaptable but not agile by nature (though it can be
      "adapted" in that direction), and that Crystal is adaptable and agile by nature. It
      may be that the difference is that RUP is overspecified and Crystal is
      underspecified --- each raises its own set of problems.

      DSDM, FDD, Grizzly and XP are agile but not very adaptable. Including
      retrospectives into XP helps, but the 12 practices put a pretty severe bound on how
      far the group can go and still be saying they are doing XP. DSDM, FDD and
      Grizzly don't even come close to being adaptable. They are just "written down".

      I once thought Crystal Orange was a pretty good methodology. Except it was
      written down for one particular project, with no room for adaptation. Agile, not
      adaptable. I now use it as a reference, an encyclopedia of ideas, and a
      possible starting point for whatever similar project might need. Ditto Crystal
      Orange Web.

      With Crystal Clear, I run exactly into the problems you mention. I tortured
      myself (and my friends) for years about how to give Level 1 reader guidance on
      techniques and work products without violating the adaptability rule. The
      current writing is my best currect guess, and I still get emails from Level 1 and
      Level 3 readers, each complaining that it is either under- or over-described.

      <<Do you think the time for adaptable processes is nigh?>>

      I very much hope so. When I wrote my PhD first draft, I got creamed because I
      thought one of my contributions was this adaptability thing --- turns out the
      research community has been discussing and advocating it for decades. My
      contribution was in the "how to" section. Now, thanks to people working with XP
      and doing retrospectives, and with project pre-perspectives and iteration
      retrospectives becoming more common, and people adjusting agile ideas to many
      different situations, the development teams themselves are getting comfortable with
      the ideas.

      The holdouts - and I don't hold out much hope for them - are the executives,
      to whom the idea of having multiple processes floating around their companies,
      and every project team inventing its own process, is anathema. I keep
      reciting the adaptable manta and giving lectures on the subject, but I don't expect
      this to be a short or awfully successful road.

      ==============================================
      Alistair Cockburn
      President, Humans and Technology

      http://alistair.cockburn.us alistair.cockburn@...
      1814 E. Fort Douglas Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
      Phone: 801.582-3162 Fax: 775.416.6457

      Author of
      "Surviving Object-Oriented Projects" (1998)
      "Writing Effective Use Cases" (Jolt Productivity Award 2001)
      "Agile Software Development" (Jolt Productivity Award 2002)

      "La perfection est atteinte non quand il ne reste rien a ajouter,
      mais quand il ne reste rien a enlever." (Saint-Exupery)
      ==============================================


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ron Jeffries
      ... The XP spokesmodels do not agree that XP is not adaptable. Alistair seems to be making the common assumption that XP is defined as do these 12 things .
      Message 2 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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        On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 12:16:00 PM, acockburn@... wrote:

        > DSDM, FDD, Grizzly and XP are agile but not very adaptable. Including
        > retrospectives into XP helps, but the 12 practices put a pretty severe bound on how
        > far the group can go and still be saying they are doing XP.

        The XP spokesmodels do not agree that XP is not adaptable. Alistair seems
        to be making the common assumption that XP is defined as "do these 12
        things". That is not the case.

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        Do, or do not. There is no try. --Yoda
      • Peter Hansen
        ... (I was just going to make that same point, but as a non-spokesmodel I ll say it anyway.) We ve interpreted XP as being learn to do these things, adjusted
        Message 3 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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          Ron Jeffries wrote:
          > On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 12:16:00 PM, acockburn@... wrote:
          > > DSDM, FDD, Grizzly and XP are agile but not very adaptable. Including
          > > retrospectives into XP helps, but the 12 practices put a pretty severe
          > > bound on how far the group can go and still be saying they are doing XP.
          >
          > The XP spokesmodels do not agree that XP is not adaptable.
          > Alistair seems to be making the common assumption that XP is
          > defined as "do these 12 things". That is not the case.

          (I was just going to make that same point, but as a non-spokesmodel
          I'll say it anyway.)

          We've interpreted XP as being "learn to do these things, adjusted for
          your environment if required, and once you feel you're doing pretty
          much all of them for a while and are confident you know what you're
          doing, move on, by fixing things, changing things, or even 'abandoning'
          canonical XP if that's the best thing for you".

          Someone on the outside might look at a group that has passed this stage
          and say "but it's not XP!".

          The group itself might, if they cared to, introspect and say "gee,
          we're not really much like XP anymore, are we? How curious...".

          But they're still "doing XP", and have clearly adapted.

          How curious...

          -Peter
        • Ron Jeffries
          ... How perfect ... Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken.
          Message 4 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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            On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 12:56:32 PM, Peter Hansen wrote:

            > Ron Jeffries wrote:
            >> On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 12:16:00 PM, acockburn@... wrote:
            >> > DSDM, FDD, Grizzly and XP are agile but not very adaptable. Including
            >> > retrospectives into XP helps, but the 12 practices put a pretty severe
            >> > bound on how far the group can go and still be saying they are doing XP.
            >>
            >> The XP spokesmodels do not agree that XP is not adaptable.
            >> Alistair seems to be making the common assumption that XP is
            >> defined as "do these 12 things". That is not the case.

            > (I was just going to make that same point, but as a non-spokesmodel
            > I'll say it anyway.)

            > We've interpreted XP as being "learn to do these things, adjusted for
            > your environment if required, and once you feel you're doing pretty
            > much all of them for a while and are confident you know what you're
            > doing, move on, by fixing things, changing things, or even 'abandoning'
            > canonical XP if that's the best thing for you".

            > Someone on the outside might look at a group that has passed this stage
            > and say "but it's not XP!".

            > The group itself might, if they cared to, introspect and say "gee,
            > we're not really much like XP anymore, are we? How curious...".

            > But they're still "doing XP", and have clearly adapted.

            > How curious...

            How perfect ...

            Ron Jeffries
            www.XProgramming.com
            The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken.
          • Robert Copelan
            Following the discussions in this list normally leaves me with a headache. They are 2-3 intelligence levels above my normal discussions and require lots of
            Message 5 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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              Following the discussions in this list normally leaves me with a
              headache. They are 2-3 intelligence levels above my normal discussions
              and require lots of concentration to follow.. BUt its worth it. I
              come away filled with ideas and hope..

              Am slightly confused about the below.. After looking up "anathema"
              still am confusted. Alistair, do you mean that every team inventing
              its own process is a good thing or a bad thing??

              Robert
              Friedrichshafen, Germany


              > The holdouts - and I don't hold out much hope for them - are the
              executives,
              > to whom the idea of having multiple processes floating around their
              companies,
              > and every project team inventing its own process, is anathema. I keep
              > reciting the adaptable manta and giving lectures on the subject, but
              I don't expect
              > this to be a short or awfully successful road.
              >
            • aacockburn
              ... Including ... severe bound on how ... seems ... 12 ... The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other definition of what it means to do
              Message 6 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
                <ronjeffries@X...> wrote:
                > On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 12:16:00 PM, acockburn@a... wrote:
                >
                > > DSDM, FDD, Grizzly and XP are agile but not very adaptable.
                Including
                > > retrospectives into XP helps, but the 12 practices put a pretty
                severe bound on how
                > > far the group can go and still be saying they are doing XP.
                >
                > The XP spokesmodels do not agree that XP is not adaptable. Alistair
                seems
                > to be making the common assumption that XP is defined as "do these
                12
                > things". That is not the case.
                >
                > Ron Jeffries

                The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other
                definition of what it means to "do XP." In the absence of any other
                test agreed upon by Kent, Ron, Ward and possibly Uncle Bob, this is
                the only imaginable test. As soon as there is another test, we can
                apply it.

                I have in fact heard Ron announce at a panel that XP is nothing more
                than people getting together at the start of a project and agreeing
                on a set of rules, and whatever they agree upon is XP. I can't
                imagine this being true, even if Ron says it.

                Here's a situation: "We got together and reflected. We decided not to
                do pair programming. We won't do TDD, nor have complete unit tests on
                an automated framework. Our iteration length is 6 weeks. Are we doing
                XP?"

                I fail to imagine how you can defend that they are doing XP.

                Alistair
              • aacockburn
                I love going to Dictionary.com and seeing it say: Get the Top 10 Most Popular Sites for anathema I didn t know there were _any_ popular sites for
                Message 7 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                  I love going to Dictionary.com and seeing it say:
                  "Get the Top 10 Most Popular Sites for "anathema""

                  I didn't know there were _any_ popular sites for "anathema"! But then
                  I click on the link and the first thing on the list is
                  <<Anathema
                  The official Anathema homepage, containing the latest news and lots
                  of other stuff.
                  From:www.blackmetal.com/~mega/Anathema/
                  >>

                  So there ! wow.

                  Back on topic, I view that every project should / must / inevitably
                  will create its own, slightly or highly modified process.
                  Most execs, however, view this as a dangerous, expensive and
                  undesirable proposition.

                  Incorrectly done, they are probably correct. I am working around how
                  to do it and keep within cost and safety margins.

                  Alistair

                  --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Copelan"
                  <robertc@m...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Following the discussions in this list normally leaves me with a
                  > headache. They are 2-3 intelligence levels above my normal
                  discussions
                  > and require lots of concentration to follow.. BUt its worth it. I
                  > come away filled with ideas and hope..
                  >
                  > Am slightly confused about the below.. After looking up "anathema"
                  > still am confusted. Alistair, do you mean that every team
                  inventing
                  > its own process is a good thing or a bad thing??
                  >
                  > Robert
                  > Friedrichshafen, Germany
                  >
                  >
                  > > The holdouts - and I don't hold out much hope for them - are the
                  > executives,
                  > > to whom the idea of having multiple processes floating around
                  their
                  > companies,
                  > > and every project team inventing its own process, is anathema. I
                  keep
                  > > reciting the adaptable manta and giving lectures on the subject,
                  but
                  > I don't expect
                  > > this to be a short or awfully successful road.
                  > >
                • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
                  From: aacockburn To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                  Message 8 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                    From: "aacockburn" <acockburn.at.aol.com@...>
                    To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
                    <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
                    Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 2:29 PM
                    Subject: [XP] Re: Simplest Possible Process - adaptable


                    > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
                    > <ronjeffries@X...> wrote:
                    > > On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 12:16:00 PM, acockburn@a... wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > DSDM, FDD, Grizzly and XP are agile but not very adaptable.
                    > Including
                    > > > retrospectives into XP helps, but the 12 practices put a pretty
                    > severe bound on how
                    > > > far the group can go and still be saying they are doing XP.
                    > >
                    > > The XP spokesmodels do not agree that XP is not adaptable. Alistair
                    > seems
                    > > to be making the common assumption that XP is defined as "do these
                    > 12
                    > > things". That is not the case.
                    > >
                    > > Ron Jeffries
                    >
                    > The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other
                    > definition of what it means to "do XP." In the absence of any other
                    > test agreed upon by Kent, Ron, Ward and possibly Uncle Bob, this is
                    > the only imaginable test. As soon as there is another test, we can
                    > apply it.

                    Something that most people seem to have missed is that there are
                    ***three*** levels of definition in XP: the values, the principles
                    and the practices. The practices are defined for novices (your level
                    1) who are working in a colocated environment together with all
                    necessary resources (including customers, QA, DBAs, UI experts,
                    etc.) on site or readily availible when needed.

                    To paraphrase a play that I'm sure most of us have sat through
                    on one Christmas season or other: "This must be clearly understood,
                    or no good will come from what follows."

                    The 5 principles are what you use to evaluate a proposed practice,
                    or a change to a practice. To repeat chapter 8 of the White Book:

                    1. Rapid feedback
                    2. Assume simplicity
                    3. Incremental change
                    4. Embracing change
                    5. Quality work

                    Each of the twelve practices conforms to these principles in the
                    context of a colocated team.

                    > Here's a situation: "We got together and reflected. We decided not to
                    > do pair programming. We won't do TDD, nor have complete unit tests on
                    > an automated framework. Our iteration length is 6 weeks. Are we doing
                    > XP?"

                    > I fail to imagine how you can defend that they are doing XP.

                    They can't legitimately defend it, although that's never stopped
                    anyone. A 6 week iteration does not conform to rapid feedback,
                    and the rest do not encourage quality work.

                    John Roth
                    >
                    > Alistair
                  • aacockburn
                    ... for ... even abandoning ... There are about a dozen books on XP out there. In which ones do we find this definition of XP? Alistair
                    Message 9 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Hansen"
                      <peter@e...> wrote:
                      > We've interpreted XP as being "learn to do these things, adjusted
                      for
                      > your environment if required, and once you feel you're doing pretty
                      > much all of them for a while and are confident you know what you're
                      > doing, move on, by fixing things, changing things, or
                      even 'abandoning'
                      > canonical XP if that's the best thing for you".

                      There are about a dozen books on XP out there. In which ones do we
                      find this definition of XP?

                      Alistair
                    • Peter Hansen
                      ... Why in all of them, of course! (Quite seriously.) (And note the use of all and not each , though a wise reader could, I think, clearly find it even in
                      Message 10 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                        Alistair Cockburn wrote:
                        > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Hansen"
                        > <peter@e...> wrote:
                        > > We've interpreted XP as being "learn to do these things, adjusted for
                        > > your environment if required, and once you feel you're doing pretty
                        > > much all of them for a while and are confident you know what you're
                        > > doing, move on, by fixing things, changing things, or even 'abandoning'
                        > > canonical XP if that's the best thing for you".
                        >
                        > There are about a dozen books on XP out there. In which ones
                        > do we find this definition of XP?

                        Why in all of them, of course!

                        (Quite seriously.)

                        (And note the use of "all" and not "each", though a wise reader
                        could, I think, clearly find it even in "each" of them.)

                        Another, less useful reply would be to point more forcibly to the
                        word "interpreted" in what you quoted above. Surely you understand
                        that this clearly indicates this was not a _definition_ of XP.

                        -Peter
                      • Ron Jeffries
                        ... It s not the only test I can imagine, therefore not the only one imaginable. Here are a few alternatives, NONE OF WHICH IS REALLY THE DEFINITION: A team is
                        Message 11 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                          On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 2:29:28 PM, aacockburn wrote:

                          > The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other
                          > definition of what it means to "do XP." In the absence of any other
                          > test agreed upon by Kent, Ron, Ward and possibly Uncle Bob, this is
                          > the only imaginable test. As soon as there is another test, we can
                          > apply it.

                          It's not the only test I can imagine, therefore not the only one
                          imaginable. Here are a few alternatives, NONE OF WHICH IS REALLY THE
                          DEFINITION:

                          A team is doing XP if { Ward, Kent, ... } say they are.

                          All teams are doing XP.

                          No teams are doing XP.

                          A team is doing XP if (a) it says it is and (b) it successfully ships
                          software on or before time, on or under budget, with fewer defects than
                          would have been acceptable.

                          A team is doing XP if [see (b) above].

                          Therefore "doing the 12 practices" is not the only imaginable test. I trust
                          that we now all agree, having imagined at least the six tests listed above.
                          Most of you, I'm sure, have striven mightily not to imagine another one.

                          > I have in fact heard Ron announce at a panel that XP is nothing more
                          > than people getting together at the start of a project and agreeing
                          > on a set of rules, and whatever they agree upon is XP. I can't
                          > imagine this being true, even if Ron says it.

                          I am quite sure that I didn't say that. If I did, I'm sorry now. And
                          besides, the panel is dead.

                          But I really don't think I'd say that. Perhaps I was misinterpreted. Was it
                          in another country?

                          > Here's a situation: "We got together and reflected. We decided not to
                          > do pair programming. We won't do TDD, nor have complete unit tests on
                          > an automated framework. Our iteration length is 6 weeks. Are we doing
                          > XP?"

                          > I fail to imagine how you can defend that they are doing XP.

                          Wouldn't. Didn't say it. Was misinterpreted. Or just wrong. The former
                          seems more likely, statistically speaking, by a small margin.

                          The topic has been addressed quite a bit:

                          In November, 2000, I seemed to have the view that "doing XP" meant doing
                          all 12 practices, but that it wasn't a good question:

                          People aren't always sure whether they are doing XP. It's not always
                          clear how to do XP in a specific environment. "Are we doing XP?" may be
                          the wrong question. Applying the principles for best effect is what's
                          most important.

                          http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/are_we_doing_xp.htm

                          In December 2000, Chet suggested that the practices may change, and the
                          values will not:

                          http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/NotXP.htm

                          In September 2001, I said:

                          People ask whether they have to do the XP practices to be doing XP. In
                          some environments, some of the practices are difficult or impossible. You
                          don't have to do the practices to be doing XP: You have to have done
                          them. Practice makes perfect.

                          http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/PracticesForaReason.htm

                          In July 2002, in my introduction to the Korean edition of /XPI/, I took a
                          sort of ShuHaRi approach, saying that the practices are how to learn XP.

                          http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/koreanintro.htm

                          At this point, Alistair is surely shouting "QED" or whatever he shouts when
                          he thinks someone has made his point for him. But that's not the point that
                          has been made.

                          There is no definition for "Doing XP", as far as I know. Certainly the
                          phrase is used, but like "Doing RUP" or "Doing martial arts", there is no
                          precise meaning. The closest meaning that I know so far (and at any minute
                          someone might come up with one that I would embrace) is:

                          XP is what you do after you have done the 12 practices, all together, for
                          long enough.

                          Sorry. But it really is part of the Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, or ShuHaRi
                          stuff. Both of which were introduced into the agile culture, as far as I
                          know, by Alistair.

                          Are you doing XP? Yes or No!

                          "I choose option C." -- Jason Yip.

                          http://www.jroller.com/page/jchyip/20040108?catname=Agile
                          and see also
                          http://www.jroller.com/page/jchyip/20031204?catname=Agile

                          And, I swear this, the sig is random.

                          Ron Jeffries
                          www.XProgramming.com
                          The practices are not the knowing: they are a path to the knowing.
                        • Ron Jeffries
                          ... OK, Alistair, you win. Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com When all ideas of [XP] is and [XP] is not have been extinguished, then [XP] reality will manifest
                          Message 12 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                            On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 2:59:07 PM, aacockburn wrote:

                            > There are about a dozen books on XP out there. In which ones do we
                            > find this definition of XP?

                            OK, Alistair, you win.

                            Ron Jeffries
                            www.XProgramming.com
                            When all ideas of [XP] is and [XP] is not have been extinguished,
                            then [XP] reality will manifest itself. -- Thich Nhat Hanh [Ron Jeffries]
                          • J. B. Rainsberger
                            ... What about the common maxim that XP is what you get after to master the 12 practices? That s pretty uniform. I m sure Ron and Kent have said it; likely
                            Message 13 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                              aacockburn wrote:

                              > The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other
                              > definition of what it means to "do XP." In the absence of any other
                              > test agreed upon by Kent, Ron, Ward and possibly Uncle Bob, this is
                              > the only imaginable test. As soon as there is another test, we can
                              > apply it.

                              What about the common maxim that XP is what you get after to master the
                              12 practices? That's pretty uniform. I'm sure Ron and Kent have said it;
                              likely Bob, too. Will Caputo likes it. I like it.
                              --
                              J. B. Rainsberger,
                              Diaspar Software Services
                              http://www.diasparsoftware.com :: +1 416 791-8603
                              Let's write software that people understand
                            • J. B. Rainsberger
                              ... ...and to head off Alistair s question, it s either in one of the books or it s in one of the books yet to be written. It s certainly been plastered all
                              Message 14 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                                J. B. Rainsberger wrote:

                                > aacockburn wrote:
                                >
                                >>The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other
                                >>definition of what it means to "do XP." In the absence of any other
                                >>test agreed upon by Kent, Ron, Ward and possibly Uncle Bob, this is
                                >>the only imaginable test. As soon as there is another test, we can
                                >>apply it.
                                >
                                > What about the common maxim that XP is what you get after to master the
                                > 12 practices? That's pretty uniform. I'm sure Ron and Kent have said it;
                                > likely Bob, too. Will Caputo likes it. I like it.

                                ...and to head off Alistair's question, it's either in one of the books
                                or it's in one of the books yet to be written. It's certainly been
                                plastered all over this list.
                                --
                                J. B. Rainsberger,
                                Diaspar Software Services
                                http://www.diasparsoftware.com :: +1 416 791-8603
                                Let's write software that people understand
                              • Ron Jeffries
                                ... Yes, important work. We also need some people working on making it clear to execs that they should / must / inevitably will ... and that it s a good thing.
                                Message 15 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                                  On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 2:36:00 PM, aacockburn wrote:

                                  > Back on topic, I view that every project should / must / inevitably
                                  > will create its own, slightly or highly modified process.
                                  > Most execs, however, view this as a dangerous, expensive and
                                  > undesirable proposition.

                                  > Incorrectly done, they are probably correct. I am working around how
                                  > to do it and keep within cost and safety margins.

                                  Yes, important work. We also need some people working on making it clear to
                                  execs that they should / must / inevitably will ... and that it's a good
                                  thing.

                                  Can we still say "it's a good thing"?

                                  Ron Jeffries
                                  www.XProgramming.com
                                  Do only what is necessary. Keep only what you need.
                                • aacockburn
                                  I consider this such a fine and thorough append that I won t attempt to kibbitz on it here. Best left standing. cheers, Ron --- Alistair ... other ... is ...
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                                    I consider this such a fine and thorough append that I won't attempt
                                    to kibbitz on it here. Best left standing.

                                    cheers, Ron --- Alistair


                                    --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
                                    <ronjeffries@X...> wrote:
                                    > On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 2:29:28 PM, aacockburn wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other
                                    > > definition of what it means to "do XP." In the absence of any
                                    other
                                    > > test agreed upon by Kent, Ron, Ward and possibly Uncle Bob, this
                                    is
                                    > > the only imaginable test. As soon as there is another test, we
                                    can
                                    > > apply it.
                                    >
                                    > It's not the only test I can imagine, therefore not the only one
                                    > imaginable. Here are a few alternatives, NONE OF WHICH IS REALLY THE
                                    > DEFINITION:
                                    >
                                    > A team is doing XP if { Ward, Kent, ... } say they are.
                                    >
                                    > All teams are doing XP.
                                    >
                                    > No teams are doing XP.
                                    >
                                    > A team is doing XP if (a) it says it is and (b) it successfully
                                    ships
                                    > software on or before time, on or under budget, with fewer
                                    defects than
                                    > would have been acceptable.
                                    >
                                    > A team is doing XP if [see (b) above].
                                    >
                                    > Therefore "doing the 12 practices" is not the only imaginable test.
                                    I trust
                                    > that we now all agree, having imagined at least the six tests
                                    listed above.
                                    > Most of you, I'm sure, have striven mightily not to imagine another
                                    one.
                                    >
                                    > > I have in fact heard Ron announce at a panel that XP is nothing
                                    more
                                    > > than people getting together at the start of a project and
                                    agreeing
                                    > > on a set of rules, and whatever they agree upon is XP. I can't
                                    > > imagine this being true, even if Ron says it.
                                    >
                                    > I am quite sure that I didn't say that. If I did, I'm sorry now. And
                                    > besides, the panel is dead.
                                    >
                                    > But I really don't think I'd say that. Perhaps I was
                                    misinterpreted. Was it
                                    > in another country?
                                    >
                                    > > Here's a situation: "We got together and reflected. We decided
                                    not to
                                    > > do pair programming. We won't do TDD, nor have complete unit
                                    tests on
                                    > > an automated framework. Our iteration length is 6 weeks. Are we
                                    doing
                                    > > XP?"
                                    >
                                    > > I fail to imagine how you can defend that they are doing XP.
                                    >
                                    > Wouldn't. Didn't say it. Was misinterpreted. Or just wrong. The
                                    former
                                    > seems more likely, statistically speaking, by a small margin.
                                    >
                                    > The topic has been addressed quite a bit:
                                    >
                                    > In November, 2000, I seemed to have the view that "doing XP" meant
                                    doing
                                    > all 12 practices, but that it wasn't a good question:
                                    >
                                    > People aren't always sure whether they are doing XP. It's not
                                    always
                                    > clear how to do XP in a specific environment. "Are we doing XP?"
                                    may be
                                    > the wrong question. Applying the principles for best effect is
                                    what's
                                    > most important.
                                    >
                                    > http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/are_we_doing_xp.htm
                                    >
                                    > In December 2000, Chet suggested that the practices may change, and
                                    the
                                    > values will not:
                                    >
                                    > http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/NotXP.htm
                                    >
                                    > In September 2001, I said:
                                    >
                                    > People ask whether they have to do the XP practices to be doing
                                    XP. In
                                    > some environments, some of the practices are difficult or
                                    impossible. You
                                    > don't have to do the practices to be doing XP: You have to have
                                    done
                                    > them. Practice makes perfect.
                                    >
                                    > http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/PracticesForaReason.htm
                                    >
                                    > In July 2002, in my introduction to the Korean edition of /XPI/, I
                                    took a
                                    > sort of ShuHaRi approach, saying that the practices are how to
                                    learn XP.
                                    >
                                    > http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/koreanintro.htm
                                    >
                                    > At this point, Alistair is surely shouting "QED" or whatever he
                                    shouts when
                                    > he thinks someone has made his point for him. But that's not the
                                    point that
                                    > has been made.
                                    >
                                    > There is no definition for "Doing XP", as far as I know. Certainly
                                    the
                                    > phrase is used, but like "Doing RUP" or "Doing martial arts", there
                                    is no
                                    > precise meaning. The closest meaning that I know so far (and at any
                                    minute
                                    > someone might come up with one that I would embrace) is:
                                    >
                                    > XP is what you do after you have done the 12 practices, all
                                    together, for
                                    > long enough.
                                    >
                                    > Sorry. But it really is part of the Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, or
                                    ShuHaRi
                                    > stuff. Both of which were introduced into the agile culture, as far
                                    as I
                                    > know, by Alistair.
                                    >
                                    > Are you doing XP? Yes or No!
                                    >
                                    > "I choose option C." -- Jason Yip.
                                    >
                                    > http://www.jroller.com/page/jchyip/20040108?catname=Agile
                                    > and see also
                                    > http://www.jroller.com/page/jchyip/20031204?catname=Agile
                                    >
                                    > And, I swear this, the sig is random.
                                    >
                                    > Ron Jeffries
                                    > www.XProgramming.com
                                    > The practices are not the knowing: they are a path to the knowing.
                                  • Ron Jeffries
                                    ... Kiss, kiss. -- Dale Emery Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                                      On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 5:02:31 PM, aacockburn wrote:

                                      > cheers, Ron --- Alistair

                                      Kiss, kiss. -- Dale Emery

                                      Ron Jeffries
                                      www.XProgramming.com
                                      New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled,
                                      the humiliating question arises, "Why then are you not taking part in
                                      them?" -- H. G. Wells
                                    • Amir Kolsky
                                      ]The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other ]definition of what it means to do XP. In the absence of any other ]test agreed upon by
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                                        ]The XP spokesmodels have uniformly failed to provide any other
                                        ]definition of what it means to "do XP." In the absence of any other
                                        ]test agreed upon by Kent, Ron, Ward and possibly Uncle Bob, this is
                                        ]the only imaginable test. As soon as there is another test, we can
                                        ]apply it.
                                        ]
                                        ]I have in fact heard Ron announce at a panel that XP is nothing more
                                        ]than people getting together at the start of a project and agreeing
                                        ]on a set of rules, and whatever they agree upon is XP. I can't
                                        ]imagine this being true, even if Ron says it.
                                        ]
                                        ]Here's a situation: "We got together and reflected. We decided not to
                                        ]do pair programming. We won't do TDD, nor have complete unit tests on
                                        ]an automated framework. Our iteration length is 6 weeks. Are we doing
                                        ]XP?"
                                        ]
                                        ]I fail to imagine how you can defend that they are doing XP.

                                        OK, I've been doing XP with a bunch of people that have never done anything
                                        like it before.

                                        We do the planning game, to a degree. We fix iterations. We TDD. We do
                                        acceptance tests.
                                        We sorta have an on site customer, and we work real hard to DTSTTW. We don't
                                        pair program (except with the coaches) and the guys won't leave their
                                        cubicles.

                                        Do we do all 12? No.

                                        Why are we doing XP? Yes.

                                        We are trying to get the team to adopt the values of XP. Most of them are
                                        giving it their best effort. Given the mammoth change that a programmer and
                                        the organization must undertake, they don't have to do all 12 to do XP.

                                        They have to aim for the values.

                                        No TDD, no acceptance tests and 6 week iterations could be construed as XP
                                        in an organization that did nothing of the sort, with massive waterfall
                                        processes.

                                        Perhaps we need to view XP also in light of what was before the team
                                        undertook it...

                                        Amir
                                      • kentlbeck
                                        Anyone can claim to be extreme. Making that claim opens you to scrutiny by any interested party. There are benefits and risks to making that claim. The people
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                                          Anyone can claim to be extreme. Making that claim opens you to
                                          scrutiny by any interested party. There are benefits and risks to
                                          making that claim. The people who have claimed to be extreme but
                                          weren't have been refuted and have suffered the consequences. The
                                          people who are extreme and are open about it have gained the
                                          benefits of using XP and the respect of the community.

                                          Kent
                                        • PaulOldfield1@compuserve.com
                                          (responding to Alistair, Ron) ... There s always *some* process that is left to the discretion of the developers. Give them appropriate training and this
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Mar 31, 2004
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                                            (responding to Alistair, Ron)

                                            > (Alistair)
                                            > Back on topic, I view that every project should / must / inevitably
                                            > will create its own, slightly or highly modified process.
                                            > Most execs, however, view this as a dangerous, expensive and
                                            > undesirable proposition.
                                            >
                                            > Incorrectly done, they are probably correct. I am working around
                                            > how to do it and keep within cost and safety margins.

                                            There's always *some* process that is left to the discretion of the
                                            developers. Give them appropriate training and this amount can
                                            be increased; as they get more experience, it can be increased.
                                            The 'attainable' property of a process that I value deals with this.
                                            To be attainable, all parts of the process must either be already
                                            within the capabilities of the developers or be within their 'reach'.

                                            Yes, that leaves a lot open to interpretation, but treat it as a
                                            requirement, and design a solution that meets the requirement.
                                            We should be good at that.

                                            > (Ron)
                                            > Yes, important work. We also need some people working on making
                                            > it clear to execs that they should / must / inevitably will ... and that
                                            it's
                                            > a good thing.
                                            >
                                            > Can we still say "it's a good thing"?

                                            Talk about attainability, reach, overreaching, the risks and benefits.
                                            Talk about adequacy, sufficiency, necessity, the risks and benefits.
                                            Tell them what approach you would take, and its risks and benefits.
                                            Allow them to say which risks they would further ameliorate, which
                                            benefits they would forego, and adapt the process accordingly -
                                            after discussing the risks and benefits. At some level, you need to
                                            let *them* say what is a "good thing". They probably just want to
                                            have the confidence that they can leave the decisions in your hands.


                                            Paul Oldfield
                                            www.aptprocess.com
                                          • Alleman, Glen B.
                                            Even better it s an Extreme Metal site Glen B. Alleman ... From: aacockburn [mailto:acockburn@aol.com] Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:36 PM To:
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Apr 1 1:04 PM
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                                              Even better it's an "Extreme Metal" site

                                              Glen B. Alleman

                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              From: aacockburn [mailto:acockburn@...]
                                              Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:36 PM
                                              To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: [XP] Re: Simplest Possible Process - adaptable

                                              I love going to Dictionary.com and seeing it say:
                                              "Get the Top 10 Most Popular Sites for "anathema""

                                              I didn't know there were _any_ popular sites for "anathema"! But then
                                              I click on the link and the first thing on the list is
                                              <<Anathema
                                              The official Anathema homepage, containing the latest news and lots
                                              of other stuff.
                                              From:www.blackmetal.com/~mega/Anathema/
                                              >>

                                              So there ! wow.
                                            • Alleman, Glen B.
                                              Kent, And what about us that use XP-inspired processes. Doing a subset of XP but reaping some benefits? The processes we don t use are not because we don t
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Apr 1 1:09 PM
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                                                Kent,

                                                And what about us that use XP-inspired processes. Doing a subset of XP
                                                but reaping "some" benefits? The processes we don't use are not because
                                                we don't want to but for external constraint reasons. Where do those
                                                types of shops fit?

                                                Glen B. Alleman

                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: kentlbeck Subject: [XP] Re: Simplest Possible Process - adaptable

                                                Anyone can claim to be extreme. Making that claim opens you to
                                                scrutiny by any interested party. There are benefits and risks to
                                                making that claim. The people who have claimed to be extreme but
                                                weren't have been refuted and have suffered the consequences. The
                                                people who are extreme and are open about it have gained the
                                                benefits of using XP and the respect of the community.

                                                Kent
                                              • J. B. Rainsberger
                                                ... Has anyone else noticed the way that Kent makes the obvious profound? -- J. B. Rainsberger, Diaspar Software Services http://www.diasparsoftware.com :: +1
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Apr 1 6:34 PM
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                                                  kentlbeck wrote:

                                                  > Anyone can claim to be extreme. Making that claim opens you to
                                                  > scrutiny by any interested party. There are benefits and risks to
                                                  > making that claim. The people who have claimed to be extreme but
                                                  > weren't have been refuted and have suffered the consequences. The
                                                  > people who are extreme and are open about it have gained the
                                                  > benefits of using XP and the respect of the community.

                                                  Has anyone else noticed the way that Kent makes the obvious profound?
                                                  --
                                                  J. B. Rainsberger,
                                                  Diaspar Software Services
                                                  http://www.diasparsoftware.com :: +1 416 791-8603
                                                  Let's write software that people understand
                                                • PaulOldfield1@compuserve.com
                                                  (responding to J.B.) ... I ll give him full marks for making the obvious obvious. Paul Oldfield
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Apr 2 1:03 AM
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                                                    (responding to J.B.)

                                                    > Has anyone else noticed the way that Kent makes the
                                                    > obvious profound?

                                                    I'll give him full marks for making the obvious obvious.

                                                    Paul Oldfield
                                                  • Jeff Grigg
                                                    ... Will: This is either madness or brilliance. Jack: It s remarkable how often those two traits coincide. -- RJ (...and some characters in some movie.
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Apr 2 7:15 AM
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                                                      > (responding to J.B.)
                                                      >> Has anyone else noticed the way that Kent makes the
                                                      >> obvious profound?

                                                      --- PaulOldfield1@c... wrote:
                                                      > I'll give him full marks for making the obvious obvious.
                                                      > Paul Oldfield

                                                      Will: "This is either madness or brilliance."
                                                      Jack: "It's remarkable how often those two traits coincide."
                                                      -- RJ (...and some characters in some movie. ;-)
                                                    • Karl Scotland
                                                      ... I ve always been reluctant to claim that we do XP . We don t unit test ALL our code - its difficult in some of the languages we use. We don t have any
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Apr 2 7:30 AM
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                                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                                        > From: kentlbeck [mailto:kentbeck@...]
                                                        >
                                                        > Anyone can claim to be extreme. Making that claim opens you to
                                                        > scrutiny by any interested party. There are benefits and risks to
                                                        > making that claim. The people who have claimed to be extreme but
                                                        > weren't have been refuted and have suffered the consequences. The
                                                        > people who are extreme and are open about it have gained the
                                                        > benefits of using XP and the respect of the community.
                                                        >

                                                        I've always been reluctant to claim that we "do XP". We don't unit test
                                                        ALL our code - its difficult in some of the languages we use. We don't
                                                        have any automated acceptance tests - its difficult with our technology.
                                                        I still recognise them as good things, and I certainly wish we could do
                                                        them more.

                                                        I prefer to say we are "inspired by XP and aspire to XP".

                                                        Karl

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                                                      • Peter Hansen
                                                        ... Would you mind identifying what those languages are? I find it a challenge, but one well worth facing, to try very creatively to find ways to unit test
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Apr 2 7:38 AM
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                                                          Karl Scotland [mailto:karl.scotland@...] wrote:
                                                          > I've always been reluctant to claim that we "do XP". We
                                                          > don't unit test ALL our code - its difficult in some of the
                                                          > languages we use.

                                                          Would you mind identifying what those languages are? I find
                                                          it a challenge, but one well worth facing, to try very creatively
                                                          to find ways to unit test any language I have to use.

                                                          > We don't have any automated acceptance
                                                          > tests - its difficult with our technology.

                                                          Same question as above. I've done a lot of work now in an
                                                          area which I think many people would describe in the same
                                                          manner -- embedded systems -- but we still found a way. What
                                                          makes testing your technology so challenging?

                                                          -Peter
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