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394RE: [XP] Re: Agile Rentschian Thinking

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  • Mike Beedle
    Jul 11, 2002
      Grady Booch wrote:
      > [egb> ] However, self-organization is decidedly a very fragile thing, as
      > virtually all the researchers I list above observe. For such emergence to
      > occur, you have to have a) the right, sufficient, and necessary set of
      > rules, b) you have to have the right set of initial conditions, and c)
      > there's hysterisis in the process.


      I disagree. I have been running Scrum teams for 6 years and
      about 2 years of Scrum and XP mixed together, and I have never felt
      stronger, and more certain in running software projects. All of my projects
      are based on self-organization and are not a "very fragile thing".

      But I do get to see a lot of defined-process and RUP failures -- they
      appear fragile to me, and I have a large set of anecdotal experience to
      illustrate my views.

      Grady Booch wrote:
      > [egb> ] Does the current state of agile stuff meet these criteria? No, not
      > yet.

      Well, it all depends, which "agile" we are talking about.

      From the Scrum and XP perspective I think they _do_ meet the

      Have you ever run an XP or a Scrum project, btw? You would know if
      you had.

      Grady Booch wrote:
      > [egb> ] To begin, are the elements of the Agile Manifesto (and its
      > manifestation in the 12-ish Agile principles) right (probably, but not in
      > all cases), sufficient (decidedly not - there is much about software
      > development that is simply not touched upon, and the discussions of
      > tailoring in this thread alone point out that we've not yet codified the
      > meta rules of agilism), and necessary (no...people here have pointed out
      > situations where you can ignore/vastly morph some of the agile
      > principles).

      The Agile Manifesto simply contains a summary of the agile principles
      17 guys could articulate in 2 days. It is a good start, but do not
      reflect all of the rules, values, practices, patterns, and principles,
      that are embedded into each of the agile methods.

      Grady Booch wrote:
      > [egb> ] With regard to having the right set of initial
      > conditions, this is a hard one, for processes, like the parable of
      > the seeds, sometimes fall on hard ground and fail to flourish...that's
      > not a fault of the process, but a consequence of the culture into
      > which that process is injected.

      Sounds like a "process" crisis to me, in the sense that you are trying
      to control through process things that are above and beyond its

      Grady Booch wrote:
      > [egb >] Finally, self-organization takes time and energy. Systems that
      > operate within the laws of physics self-organize in relative real time;
      > systems that operate within the laws of chemical interactions take a bit
      > more time; systems that operate within the laws of biology take a
      > long time (evolution); systems that operate within the laws of human
      > psychology take a wide range of time (social interactions at
      > a cocktail party versus global cultural trends). Agilism, IMO,
      > operates at the speed of human interaction.

      It works in practice. If you ran Scrum or XP projects you would know.

      Just ask the practitioners in this list.

      Grady Booch wrote:
      > [egb> ] So, I'm just cautioning you about distinguishing the value of
      > agilism based upon the self-organization of systems: it's a fragile thing,
      > easily disturbed by a variety of influences outside the control
      > of the agile principles.

      I disagree on two counts: a) it doesn't feel fragile in practice, and b)
      the agile principles are not the only thing at play.

      Grady Booch wrote:
      > [egb> ] I have been a part of and have also observed several software
      > development teams for which the experience was magical, but more
      > often than not, it is less than magical. Perhaps all process work
      > is about finding a way to recreate that magic over and over
      > again - but experience has shown that such magic is a very elusive thing.

      Perhaps is about thinking out of the "process" box :-)

      - Mike
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