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Agile Manifesto, a pragmatic statement

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  • Michael James
    A recent discussion gave me the impression people might see the Agile Manifesto as hypothesis coming from ivory towers. In fact it comes from practical
    Message 1 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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      A recent discussion gave me the impression
      people might see the Agile Manifesto as
      hypothesis coming from "ivory towers."

      In fact it comes from practical experience
      in the trenches.

      I'll admit I'm an idealist. But everything
      written below (from http://agilemanifesto.org/ )
      strikes me as pragmatic, especially "while
      there is value to the items on the right, we
      value the items on the left more."

      --mj

      _______________________________________________
      Manifesto for Agile Software Development

      We are uncovering better ways of developing
      software by doing it and helping others do it.
      Through this work we have come to value:

      Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
      Working software over comprehensive documentation
      Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
      Responding to change over following a plan

      That is, while there is value in the items on
      the right, we value the items on the left more.




      _______________________________________________
      Principles behind the Agile Manifesto


      We follow these principles:

      Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
      through early and continuous delivery
      of valuable software.

      Welcome changing requirements, even late in
      development. Agile processes harness change for
      the customer's competitive advantage.

      Deliver working software frequently, from a
      couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
      preference to the shorter timescale.

      Business people and developers must work
      together daily throughout the project.

      Build projects around motivated individuals.
      Give them the environment and support they need,
      and trust them to get the job done.

      The most efficient and effective method of
      conveying information to and within a development
      team is face-to-face conversation.

      Working software is the primary measure of progress.

      Agile processes promote sustainable development.
      The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
      to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

      Continuous attention to technical excellence
      and good design enhances agility.

      Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount
      of work not done--is essential.

      The best architectures, requirements, and designs
      emerge from self-organizing teams.

      At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
      to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
      its behavior accordingly.
    • Andrew Badera
      Agreed. The thread you re referring to, however, seemed to say everything on the left, nothing on the right, which is where my ivory tower comment comes
      Message 2 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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        Agreed. The thread you're referring to, however, seemed to say "everything on the left, nothing on the right," which is where my ivory tower comment comes from.

        --Andrew Badera



        On 11/4/07, Michael James <michael@...> wrote:

        A recent discussion gave me the impression
        people might see the Agile Manifesto as
        hypothesis coming from "ivory towers."

        In fact it comes from practical experience
        in the trenches.

        I'll admit I'm an idealist. But everything
        written below (from http://agilemanifesto.org/ )
        strikes me as pragmatic, especially "while
        there is value to the items on the right, we
        value the items on the left more."

        --mj

        _______________________________________________
        Manifesto for Agile Software Development

        We are uncovering better ways of developing
        software by doing it and helping others do it.
        Through this work we have come to value:

        Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
        Working software over comprehensive documentation
        Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
        Responding to change over following a plan

        That is, while there is value in the items on
        the right, we value the items on the left more.

        _______________________________________________
        Principles behind the Agile Manifesto

        We follow these principles:

        Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
        through early and continuous delivery
        of valuable software.

        Welcome changing requirements, even late in
        development. Agile processes harness change for
        the customer's competitive advantage.

        Deliver working software frequently, from a
        couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
        preference to the shorter timescale.

        Business people and developers must work
        together daily throughout the project.

        Build projects around motivated individuals.
        Give them the environment and support they need,
        and trust them to get the job done.

        The most efficient and effective method of
        conveying information to and within a development
        team is face-to-face conversation.

        Working software is the primary measure of progress.

        Agile processes promote sustainable development.
        The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
        to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

        Continuous attention to technical excellence
        and good design enhances agility.

        Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount
        of work not done--is essential.

        The best architectures, requirements, and designs
        emerge from self-organizing teams.

        At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
        to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
        its behavior accordingly.


      • Ilja Preuss
        ... I looked back to the part that I thought was most likely to be interpretated that way, but couldn t find something. If you like, please cite some passages
        Message 3 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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          Andrew Badera wrote:
          > Agreed. The thread you're referring to, however, seemed to say
          > "everything on the left, nothing on the right," which is where my ivory
          > tower comment comes from.

          I looked back to the part that I thought was most likely to be
          interpretated that way, but couldn't find something. If you like, please
          cite some passages that had this connotation for you - I'm sure we will
          learn something.

          Thanks, Ilja
        • rhythmstar
          Cite some passages? OK: Why have tools at all? If that isn t an ivory tower perspective, intentional or not, I don t know what is. It reminds me of a joke
          Message 4 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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            Cite some passages? OK:

            "Why have tools at all?"

            If that isn't an ivory tower perspective, intentional or not, I don't
            know what is. It reminds me of a joke Edie Windsor, who worked on the
            first assembler at IBM, used to say about "if you know the binary
            opcodes, why do you need an assembler?" The answer of course is to
            make things easier for people by eliminating repetitive or error-prone
            tasks, enabling people to concentrate on the things that only people
            can do.

            You do use a code editor and a compiler, do you not? If so, then
            consider that tools are an essential part of software development. Not
            as essential as people, but essential nonetheless. Even a hand-written
            index card is still a tool.

            Bill House

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ilja Preuss <it@...> wrote:
            >
            > Andrew Badera wrote:
            > > Agreed. The thread you're referring to, however, seemed to say
            > > "everything on the left, nothing on the right," which is where my
            ivory
            > > tower comment comes from.
            >
            > I looked back to the part that I thought was most likely to be
            > interpretated that way, but couldn't find something. If you like,
            please
            > cite some passages that had this connotation for you - I'm sure we will
            > learn something.
            >
            > Thanks, Ilja
            >
          • Simon Kirk
            Hi Bill. My interpretation of that sentence was that of a challenging question. A challenging question is in no way a unilateral statement of opinion. I fail
            Message 5 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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              Hi Bill.

              My interpretation of that sentence was that of a challenging question.

              A challenging question is in no way a unilateral statement of opinion. I fail to see how you
              interpreted it so absolutely.

              Surely the point of such a question is simply to stimulate thought and debate about the
              subject matter. Given that criteria, I'd say it's mission accomplished. :)

              S

              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "rhythmstar" <bhouse@...> wrote:
              >
              > Cite some passages? OK:
              >
              > "Why have tools at all?"
              >
              > If that isn't an ivory tower perspective, intentional or not, I don't
              > know what is. It reminds me of a joke Edie Windsor, who worked on the
              > first assembler at IBM, used to say about "if you know the binary
              > opcodes, why do you need an assembler?" The answer of course is to
              > make things easier for people by eliminating repetitive or error-prone
              > tasks, enabling people to concentrate on the things that only people
              > can do.
              >
              > You do use a code editor and a compiler, do you not? If so, then
              > consider that tools are an essential part of software development. Not
              > as essential as people, but essential nonetheless. Even a hand-written
              > index card is still a tool.
              >
              > Bill House
              >
              > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ilja Preuss <it@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Andrew Badera wrote:
              > > > Agreed. The thread you're referring to, however, seemed to say
              > > > "everything on the left, nothing on the right," which is where my
              > ivory
              > > > tower comment comes from.
              > >
              > > I looked back to the part that I thought was most likely to be
              > > interpretated that way, but couldn't find something. If you like,
              > please
              > > cite some passages that had this connotation for you - I'm sure we will
              > > learn something.
              > >
              > > Thanks, Ilja
              > >
              >
            • rhythmstar
              The man asked the question, I answered. (shrug) Anyway, I don t doubt that the question was rhetorical rather than an actual opinion. At least, I hope so.
              Message 6 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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                The man asked the question, I answered. (shrug)

                Anyway, I don't doubt that the question was rhetorical rather than an
                actual opinion. At least, I hope so. Anything taken to an extreme is,
                well, extreme... and not in a good way.

                The interesting thing for me is how things continue to recapitulate
                across different domains and times. In 1994, I published an article
                in Data Based Advisor about business process reengineering and how
                there were isomorphisms between that and the shift from structured to
                OO software design. Scrum to me seems the natural progression from
                the discreet department model to the process team model, just a decade
                later and in the software development domain. If I had the time, I
                would reprise my article, but I'm too busy building software. :-)

                Bill House

                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Simon Kirk" <scrum@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Bill.
                >
                > My interpretation of that sentence was that of a challenging question.
                >
                > A challenging question is in no way a unilateral statement of
                opinion. I fail to see how you
                > interpreted it so absolutely.
                >
                > Surely the point of such a question is simply to stimulate thought
                and debate about the
                > subject matter. Given that criteria, I'd say it's mission
                accomplished. :)
                >
                > S
                >
                > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "rhythmstar" <bhouse@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Cite some passages? OK:
                > >
                > > "Why have tools at all?"
                > >
                > > If that isn't an ivory tower perspective, intentional or not, I don't
                > > know what is. It reminds me of a joke Edie Windsor, who worked on the
                > > first assembler at IBM, used to say about "if you know the binary
                > > opcodes, why do you need an assembler?" The answer of course is to
                > > make things easier for people by eliminating repetitive or error-prone
                > > tasks, enabling people to concentrate on the things that only people
                > > can do.
                > >
                > > You do use a code editor and a compiler, do you not? If so, then
                > > consider that tools are an essential part of software development. Not
                > > as essential as people, but essential nonetheless. Even a hand-written
                > > index card is still a tool.
                > >
                > > Bill House
                > >
                > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ilja Preuss <it@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Andrew Badera wrote:
                > > > > Agreed. The thread you're referring to, however, seemed to say
                > > > > "everything on the left, nothing on the right," which is where my
                > > ivory
                > > > > tower comment comes from.
                > > >
                > > > I looked back to the part that I thought was most likely to be
                > > > interpretated that way, but couldn't find something. If you like,
                > > please
                > > > cite some passages that had this connotation for you - I'm sure
                we will
                > > > learn something.
                > > >
                > > > Thanks, Ilja
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • Ilja Preuss
                ... Without knowing the context, that s first and foremost a *question*. I d like to suggest that it cannot be decided whether it s asked from an ivory tower
                Message 7 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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                  rhythmstar wrote:
                  > Cite some passages? OK:
                  >
                  > "Why have tools at all?"
                  >
                  > If that isn't an ivory tower perspective, intentional or not, I don't
                  > know what is.

                  Without knowing the context, that's first and foremost a *question*. I'd
                  like to suggest that it cannot be decided whether it's asked from an
                  ivory tower perspective without making some assumptions about the
                  motivation behind that question.

                  I agree, though, that it is not hard to interpret the question that way.
                  On the other hand, isn't the only possible interpretation, and not
                  necessarily the intended one. In fact when I've learned one thing from
                  this conversation, it is that it's quite likely not the intended one
                  (simply because it seems to me that there was more misunderstanding in
                  that thread than understanding).

                  Cheers, Ilja
                • Ilja Preuss
                  ... Then I think I don t understand what you mean by an ivory tower perspective . Puzzled, Ilja
                  Message 8 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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                    rhythmstar wrote:
                    > The man asked the question, I answered. (shrug)
                    >
                    > Anyway, I don't doubt that the question was rhetorical rather than an
                    > actual opinion.

                    Then I think I don't understand what you mean by an "ivory tower
                    perspective".

                    Puzzled, Ilja
                  • rhythmstar
                    Don t sweat it -- it s just slang. The expression gets used whenever the theory of how things ought to be complicates the way things play out in practice.
                    Message 9 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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                      Don't sweat it -- it's just slang. The expression gets used whenever
                      the theory of how things ought to be complicates the way things play
                      out in practice. Besides, the way people read what one writes is not
                      always the way the writer intends it to be read.

                      Where I think we agree is that tools are not The Answer.

                      Bill House

                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ilja Preuss <it@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > rhythmstar wrote:
                      > > The man asked the question, I answered. (shrug)
                      > >
                      > > Anyway, I don't doubt that the question was rhetorical rather than an
                      > > actual opinion.
                      >
                      > Then I think I don't understand what you mean by an "ivory tower
                      > perspective".
                      >
                      > Puzzled, Ilja
                      >
                    • Henrik Kniberg
                      ... Shucks. /Henrik -- Henrik Kniberg http://www.crisp.se +46 (0)70 492 5284
                      Message 10 of 23 , Nov 4, 2007
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                        On 11/4/07, rhythmstar <bhouse@...> wrote:
                        > ...tools are not The Answer.

                        Shucks.

                        /Henrik

                        --
                        Henrik Kniberg
                        http://www.crisp.se
                        +46 (0)70 492 5284
                      • Pierre Mengal
                        Found this by mistake: http://www.waterfallmanifesto.org/
                        Message 11 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                          Found this by mistake: http://www.waterfallmanifesto.org/

                          On Nov 4, 2007 11:05 PM, Henrik Kniberg <h@...> wrote:

                          On 11/4/07, rhythmstar <bhouse@...> wrote:
                          > ...tools are not The Answer.

                          Shucks.

                          /Henrik

                          --
                          Henrik Kniberg
                          http://www.crisp.se
                          +46 (0)70 492 5284


                        • Dan Rawsthorne
                          Michael, I must admit that I love the principles behind the Agile Manifesto. Often, however, I get feedback that the manifesto itself is naive... I ve never
                          Message 12 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                            Michael, I must admit that I love the principles behind the Agile
                            Manifesto. Often, however, I get feedback that the manifesto itself is
                            naive... I've never signed it because I don't want to defend somebody
                            else's words being misunderstood - my own are misunderstood often enough :)

                            Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
                            Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
                            dan@..., 425-269-8628



                            Michael James wrote:
                            >
                            > A recent discussion gave me the impression
                            > people might see the Agile Manifesto as
                            > hypothesis coming from "ivory towers."
                            >
                            > In fact it comes from practical experience
                            > in the trenches.
                            >
                            > I'll admit I'm an idealist. But everything
                            > written below (from http://agilemanifesto.org/
                            > <http://agilemanifesto.org/> )
                            > strikes me as pragmatic, especially "while
                            > there is value to the items on the right, we
                            > value the items on the left more."
                            >
                            > --mj
                            >
                            > _______________________________________________
                            > Manifesto for Agile Software Development
                            >
                            > We are uncovering better ways of developing
                            > software by doing it and helping others do it.
                            > Through this work we have come to value:
                            >
                            > Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
                            > Working software over comprehensive documentation
                            > Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
                            > Responding to change over following a plan
                            >
                            > That is, while there is value in the items on
                            > the right, we value the items on the left more.
                            >
                            > _______________________________________________
                            > Principles behind the Agile Manifesto
                            >
                            > We follow these principles:
                            >
                            > Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
                            > through early and continuous delivery
                            > of valuable software.
                            >
                            > Welcome changing requirements, even late in
                            > development. Agile processes harness change for
                            > the customer's competitive advantage.
                            >
                            > Deliver working software frequently, from a
                            > couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
                            > preference to the shorter timescale.
                            >
                            > Business people and developers must work
                            > together daily throughout the project.
                            >
                            > Build projects around motivated individuals.
                            > Give them the environment and support they need,
                            > and trust them to get the job done.
                            >
                            > The most efficient and effective method of
                            > conveying information to and within a development
                            > team is face-to-face conversation.
                            >
                            > Working software is the primary measure of progress.
                            >
                            > Agile processes promote sustainable development.
                            > The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
                            > to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
                            >
                            > Continuous attention to technical excellence
                            > and good design enhances agility.
                            >
                            > Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount
                            > of work not done--is essential.
                            >
                            > The best architectures, requirements, and designs
                            > emerge from self-organizing teams.
                            >
                            > At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
                            > to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
                            > its behavior accordingly.
                            >
                            >
                          • mike.dwyer1@comcast.net
                            Dan Not to worry - people who don t want or can t understand what you are saying will complain anyways. Those of who do understand will and appreciate your
                            Message 13 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                              Dan
                              Not to worry - people who don't want or can't understand what you are saying will complain anyways. Those of who do understand will and appreciate your view and see no need to defend you. Those who value you and what you bring to the table will argue to make it better.
                              Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Dan Rawsthorne <dan.rawsthorne@...>

                              Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2007 16:09:58
                              To:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Agile Manifesto, a pragmatic statement


                              Michael, I must admit that I love the principles behind the Agile
                              Manifesto. Often, however, I get feedback that the manifesto itself is
                              naive... I've never signed it because I don't want to defend somebody
                              else's words being misunderstood - my own are misunderstood often enough :)

                              Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
                              Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
                              dan@... <mailto:dan%40danube.com> , 425-269-8628

                              Michael James wrote:
                              >
                              > A recent discussion gave me the impression
                              > people might see the Agile Manifesto as
                              > hypothesis coming from "ivory towers."
                              >
                              > In fact it comes from practical experience
                              > in the trenches.
                              >
                              > I'll admit I'm an idealist. But everything
                              > written below (from http://agilemanifes <http://agilemanifesto.org/> to.org/
                              > <http://agilemanifes <http://agilemanifesto.org/> to.org/> )
                              > strikes me as pragmatic, especially "while
                              > there is value to the items on the right, we
                              > value the items on the left more."
                              >
                              > --mj
                              >
                              > _______________________________________________
                              > Manifesto for Agile Software Development
                              >
                              > We are uncovering better ways of developing
                              > software by doing it and helping others do it.
                              > Through this work we have come to value:
                              >
                              > Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
                              > Working software over comprehensive documentation
                              > Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
                              > Responding to change over following a plan
                              >
                              > That is, while there is value in the items on
                              > the right, we value the items on the left more.
                              >
                              > _______________________________________________
                              > Principles behind the Agile Manifesto
                              >
                              > We follow these principles:
                              >
                              > Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
                              > through early and continuous delivery
                              > of valuable software.
                              >
                              > Welcome changing requirements, even late in
                              > development. Agile processes harness change for
                              > the customer's competitive advantage.
                              >
                              > Deliver working software frequently, from a
                              > couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
                              > preference to the shorter timescale.
                              >
                              > Business people and developers must work
                              > together daily throughout the project.
                              >
                              > Build projects around motivated individuals.
                              > Give them the environment and support they need,
                              > and trust them to get the job done.
                              >
                              > The most efficient and effective method of
                              > conveying information to and within a development
                              > team is face-to-face conversation.
                              >
                              > Working software is the primary measure of progress.
                              >
                              > Agile processes promote sustainable development.
                              > The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
                              > to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
                              >
                              > Continuous attention to technical excellence
                              > and good design enhances agility.
                              >
                              > Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount
                              > of work not done--is essential.
                              >
                              > The best architectures, requirements, and designs
                              > emerge from self-organizing teams.
                              >
                              > At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
                              > to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
                              > its behavior accordingly.
                              >
                              >
                            • David Milner
                              I too love the principles behind the Agile Manifesto. They are value statements and ideal statements. As such with any values or ideals they are prone to
                              Message 14 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                I too love the principles behind the Agile Manifesto.  They are value statements and ideal statements.  As such with any values or ideals they are prone to misinterpretation, criticism, and attack.  The criticism I have heard regarding the naivety of the manifesto I would weigh with a grain of salt.  While they are ideals, they are very available to set up or work towards environmentsand corporate cultures where they function to large degrees with success.  Many times those who criticize the most vehemently are those whose corporate culture rewards the "firefighter" mentality, the 60+ hour week pushes and the perception of effort as opposed to effective measurement of tangible results.   I signed the Agile Manifesto to "just say no" to the acceptance without opposition of that type of corporate culture, which I believe to be obsolete and ineffective long-term. 
                                 
                                I say bring on the criticism.  The successful practical defense that results can start grassroots movements.
                                 
                                Like Scrum...
                                 
                                Dave Milner, MBA, MCSD.NET, CSM
                                ----- Original Message ----
                                From: Dan Rawsthorne <dan.rawsthorne@...>
                                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2007 8:09:58 AM
                                Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Agile Manifesto, a pragmatic statement

                                Michael, I must admit that I love the principles behind the Agile
                                Manifesto. Often, however, I get feedback that the manifesto itself is
                                naive... I've never signed it because I don't want to defend somebody
                                else's words being misunderstood - my own are misunderstood often enough :)

                                Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
                                Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
                                dan@..., 425-269-8628

                                Michael James wrote:

                                >
                                > A recent discussion gave me the impression
                                > people might see the Agile Manifesto as
                                > hypothesis coming from "ivory towers."
                                >
                                > In fact it comes from practical experience
                                > in the trenches.
                                >
                                > I'll admit I'm an idealist. But everything
                                > written below (from http://agilemanifes to.org/
                                > <
                                href="http://agilemanifesto.org/" target=_blank rel=nofollow>http://agilemanifes to.org/> )
                                > strikes me as pragmatic, especially "while
                                > there is value to the items on the right, we
                                > value the items on the left more."
                                >
                                > --mj
                                >
                                > ____________ _________ _________ _________ ________
                                > Manifesto for Agile Software Development
                                >
                                > We are uncovering better ways of developing
                                > software by doing it and helping others do it.
                                > Through this work we have come to value:
                                >
                                > Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
                                > Working software over comprehensive documentation
                                > Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
                                > Responding to change over following a plan
                                >
                                > That is, while there is value in the items on
                                > the right, we value the items on the left more.
                                >
                                > ____________ _________ _________ _________
                                ________
                                > Principles behind the Agile Manifesto
                                >
                                > We follow these principles:
                                >
                                > Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
                                > through early and continuous delivery
                                > of valuable software.
                                >
                                > Welcome changing requirements, even late in
                                > development. Agile processes harness change for
                                > the customer's competitive advantage.
                                >
                                > Deliver working software frequently, from a
                                > couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
                                > preference to the shorter timescale.
                                >
                                > Business people and developers must work
                                > together daily throughout the project.
                                >
                                > Build projects around motivated individuals.
                                > Give them the environment and support they need,
                                > and trust them to get the job done.
                                >
                                > The most efficient and effective method of
                                > conveying information to and within a development
                                > team is
                                face-to-face conversation.
                                >
                                > Working software is the primary measure of progress.
                                >
                                > Agile processes promote sustainable development.
                                > The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
                                > to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
                                >
                                > Continuous attention to technical excellence
                                > and good design enhances agility.
                                >
                                > Simplicity-- the art of maximizing the amount
                                > of work not done--is essential.
                                >
                                > The best architectures, requirements, and designs
                                > emerge from self-organizing teams.
                                >
                                > At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
                                > to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
                                > its behavior accordingly.
                                >
                                >



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                              • Jimi
                                ... I tend to concur with Dr. Dan. I don t think it s that the Agile Manifesto, or at least the principles elucidated therein, is viewed as the product of
                                Message 15 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                  --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Michael James" <michael@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >
                                  > A recent discussion gave me the impression
                                  > people might see the Agile Manifesto as
                                  > hypothesis coming from "ivory towers."
                                  >

                                  I tend to concur with Dr. Dan. I don't think it's that the Agile
                                  Manifesto, or at least the principles elucidated therein, is viewed as
                                  the product of academic elites. Rather, there is the general
                                  impression that the manifesto oversimplifies and is predicated on
                                  certain naive assumptions (e.g. that the customer, stakeholder or
                                  product owner is interested in and capable of a truly collaborative
                                  partnership).

                                  That notwithstanding the question is not whether or not the principles
                                  of agile software development are a panacea (they clearly are not and
                                  those of us who advocate agile methods often take great pains to
                                  emphasize that fact as you well know) but whether they are as
                                  effective or more effective than the alternatives. In other words when
                                  someone asks me about the validity or usefulness of agile methods I
                                  invariably respond with, "What would you do instead and how has that
                                  worked?"

                                  Regardless, after many years as a PMIdiot (including going to the
                                  trouble of getting my MBA in PMI style project management) I can tell
                                  you that the most "robust" methods predicated on single-pass phased
                                  development are their own worst enemy in the discussion. Nothing is
                                  more "Ivory Tower" or of less practical use than the PMBOK.

                                  The fact is, as we all know, agile methods have few moving parts.
                                  Given that those methods are predicated, in principle, on the ideals
                                  elucidated in the agile manifesto, any accusation that that document
                                  is a product of an "ivory tower" mentality is spurious. No academic,
                                  in my experience, would ever come up with something so simple and
                                  devoid of jargon.
                                • Jimi
                                  ... For myself it s never come up (i.e. I ve never been asked to sign the AM). That being said I would not for the simple reason that doing so, or being asked
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Dan Rawsthorne
                                    <dan.rawsthorne@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I've never signed it [the AM] because I don't want to
                                    > defend somebody else's words being misunderstood - my
                                    > own are misunderstood often enough :)

                                    For myself it's never come up (i.e. I've never been asked to sign the
                                    AM). That being said I would not for the simple reason that doing so,
                                    or being asked to do so, strikes me as turning Agile into some kind of
                                    religion although to a certain extent I think the metaphor of agile as
                                    a religion is reasonably apt. There are dogmatic adherents to a
                                    self-declared "orthodox" view. There are certainly heretical views. I
                                    have found in the practical world of software product development one
                                    must continually pick one's way through with the aim of charting a
                                    middle course as a means to end of "doing software" better.
                                    Fortunately owing to the abysmal failures of traditional project
                                    management agile methods such as Scrum can hardly do worse.
                                  • David Milner
                                    ... The values and ideals are simple. The implementation of them is not, and takes skill, compromise, and detail. So the answer is to discard the simple
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                      >I tend to concur with Dr. Dan. I don't think it's that the Agile
                                      >Manifesto, or at least the principles elucidated therein, is viewed as
                                      >the product of academic elites. Rather, there is the general
                                      >impression that the manifesto oversimplifies and is predicated on
                                      >certain naive assumptions (e.g. that the customer, stakeholder or
                                      >product owner is interested in and capable of a truly collaborative
                                      >partnership) .

                                      The values and ideals are simple. The implementation of them is not, and takes
                                      skill, compromise, and detail. So the answer is to discard the simple values?
                                      Or to come up with a "general impression" in the academic realm that they
                                      are not valuable because they don't explain all the detail that might be required to
                                      implement them?

                                      You don't have a good PO? Build one from someone that does have a stake.
                                      Like described in Ken's books, and on many other fronts.

                                      Or I suppose you can take the alternative approach and criticize from an "academic"
                                      viewpoint.


                                      >That notwithstanding the question is not whether or not the principles
                                      >of agile software development are a panacea (they clearly are not and
                                      >those of us who advocate agile methods often take great pains to
                                      >emphasize that fact as you well know) but whether they are as
                                      >effective or more effective than the alternatives. In other words when
                                      >someone asks me about the validity or usefulness of agile methods I
                                      >invariably respond with, "What would you do instead and how has that
                                      >worked?"

                                      On the contrary, I believe that agile methods ARE a panacea.
                                      The ability to implement them is not necessarily always achievable out of the box,
                                      so you have to compromise to get it done.

                                      However, I'm aware of opposing viewpoints and people recommending that if waterfall works for you,
                                      to keep doing it. If advising people like that works for you, then keep doing it.

                                      That possibly labels me a zealot. It takes one to effect change, otherwise you get lost in status quo.


                                      >Regardless, after many years as a PMIdiot (including going to the
                                      >trouble of getting my MBA in PMI style project management) I can tell
                                      >you that the most "robust" methods predicated on single-pass phased
                                      >development are their own worst enemy in the discussion. Nothing is
                                      >more "Ivory Tower" or of less practical use than the PMBOK.

                                      "Robust" = waste.

                                      >The fact is, as we all know, agile methods have few moving parts.
                                      >Given that those methods are predicated, in principle, on the ideals
                                      >elucidated in the agile manifesto, any accusation that that document
                                      >is a product of an "ivory tower" mentality is spurious. No academic,
                                      >in my experience, would ever come up with something so simple and
                                      >devoid of jargon.

                                      I agree with your assessment. I would respond that accusation appears to be classical
                                      psychological "projection". From those who sit in ivory towers and publish elitist intellectual
                                      criticism as a profession.

                                      And yeah, I know. Tell us how you REALLY feel. Hey I already 'fessed up to the zealot attitude.

                                      Dave

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                                    • Jim Sweeney
                                      I wouldn t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition... ;-) ________________________________ From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                        I wouldn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition…

                                        ;-)


                                        From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jimi
                                        Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 11:22 AM
                                        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Agile Manifesto, a pragmatic statement

                                        For myself it's never come up (i.e. I've never been asked to sign the
                                        AM). That being said I would not for the simple reason that doing so,
                                        or being asked to do so, strikes me as turning Agile into some kind of
                                        religion although to a certain extent I think the metaphor of agile as
                                        a religion is reasonably apt. There are dogmatic adherents to a
                                        self-declared "orthodox" view. There are certainly heretical views.

                                      • Jimi
                                        ... Perhaps it s because my market is public attorneys, but I have definitely had to defend Scrum to panels of Grand Inquisitors on occasion. Although in that
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Sweeney" <jsweeney@...>
                                          wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > I wouldn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition...
                                          >
                                          > ;-)
                                          Perhaps it's because my market is public attorneys, but I have
                                          definitely had to defend Scrum to panels of Grand Inquisitors on
                                          occasion. Although in that case I think the metaphor needs retooling
                                          such that PMBOK = "Orthodox" and Scrum = "Protestant" but I may be
                                          carrying it too far.
                                        • Jimi
                                          ... I want to be perfectly clear I think the accusations levelled at the agile manifesto (or its principles) and Agile in general are completely spurious. I am
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, David Milner <dmilner321@...>
                                            wrote:
                                            >
                                            > The values and ideals are simple. The implementation of them
                                            > is not, and takes skill, compromise, and detail. So the
                                            > answer is to discard the simple values? Or to come up with a
                                            > "general impression" in the academic realm that they are not
                                            > valuable because they don't explain all the detail that might
                                            > be required to implement them?

                                            I want to be perfectly clear I think the accusations levelled at the
                                            agile manifesto (or its principles) and Agile in general are
                                            completely spurious. I am merely playing the role of l'Avocat du
                                            Diable by hypothesizing what opponents of agile think (based in part
                                            on actual criticisms I have heard).

                                            > You don't have a good PO? Build one from someone that
                                            > does have a stake. Like described in Ken's books, and
                                            > on many other fronts.

                                            My experience has not been that finding an appropriate PO is the
                                            problem. In that respect I've been rather lucky. Rather in the
                                            corporate commercial software game it is usually meddlesome "Center of
                                            Excellence" or "PMO" types who are the problem. They are the ones I've
                                            observed interfering most with agile adoption at the local and/or
                                            enterprise level. They are the real "ivory tower" intellectuals who
                                            refuse to admit that the years, sometimes decades, they've invested in
                                            high ceremony, heavy-weight, <b>seemingly</b> scientific methods has
                                            been wasted, much less that something as simple as the ideas
                                            associated with Agile is a better solution to the problems of software
                                            product development.

                                            > Or I suppose you can take the alternative approach and criticize
                                            > from an "academic" viewpoint.

                                            I've tried that on occasion with limited success. You can "scare off"
                                            certain PMI zealots with pedantry, particularly if their own pedantry
                                            is very superficial which is often the case, but usually you alienate
                                            more people than you win over. The better tack is simply to stage a
                                            "silent revolution" and demonstrate value with real world results.

                                            > On the contrary, I believe that agile methods ARE a panacea.
                                            > The ability to implement them is not necessarily always
                                            > achievable out of the box, so you have to compromise to
                                            > get it done.

                                            Maybe you're using the word differently than I am. If we mean panacea
                                            as in "a cure for all ills" then we'll have to agree to disagree,
                                            though I think it will be difficult for you to make a cogent case for
                                            that position. How often do we hear agilistas (myself included)
                                            telling the uninitiated that, "Scrum is not a silver bullet"? There
                                            are some difficulties in software product development which have
                                            nothing to do with development method. In other words there are some
                                            problems which no specific method agile or otherwise will solve. To
                                            suggest that agile will solve every possible problem is both short
                                            sighted and sets us up for failure. As a relevant example from my
                                            personal experience the best development method in the world will not
                                            save an ill-conceived project that, due to the way it was initiated,
                                            never had any possibility of being profitable. You can reduce the
                                            bleeding but you can't heal the wound.

                                            > However, I'm aware of opposing viewpoints and people
                                            > recommending that if waterfall works for you,to keep
                                            > doing it. If advising people like that works for you,
                                            > then keep doing it.

                                            In principle I agree. If your development efforts are completely
                                            satisfactory in terms of success, ROI or by whatever measure you
                                            choose there's no real reason to change (though I could argue that if
                                            things are going that swimmingly you stand to dramatically increase
                                            ROI and competitive advantage by adopting agile methods. That being
                                            said I have never in 12 years of commercial software product
                                            development at 6 different companies representing more than a dozen
                                            diffferent products seen the waterfall work. Rather I have seen
                                            products succeed in spite of waterfall, PMI etc.

                                            > That possibly labels me a zealot. It takes one to effect
                                            > change, otherwise you get lost in status quo.

                                            One person's zealot is another's heretic. I'm considered something of
                                            a zealot in my organization and yet I would no doubt be taken to task
                                            by many in this forum for the compromises I've made. The difficult
                                            part of being a change agent is not being so strident that you
                                            alienate the hearts and minds of those you are trying to change

                                            > "Robust" = waste.

                                            I couldn't agree more.

                                            > I agree with your assessment. I would respond that accusation
                                            > appears to be classical psychological "projection". From
                                            > those who sit in ivory towers and publish elitist intellectual
                                            > criticism as a profession.

                                            I agree with your agreement. :) It stems, as I said before, from the
                                            types of individuals who end up in a PMO or somesuch and the
                                            investment they have in their pet methodology. Having been one such
                                            who's "deconversion" was somewhat painful I can empathize.

                                            Regards,

                                            Jimi
                                          • Michael James
                                            ... The language is more clear than most statements you ve probably signed (legal contracts, for instance). Which part(s) are you unwilling to defend? --mj
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Nov 6, 2007
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                                              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Dan Rawsthorne <dan.rawsthorne@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Michael, I must admit that I love the principles behind the Agile
                                              > Manifesto. Often, however, I get feedback that the manifesto itself is
                                              > naive... I've never signed it because I don't want to defend somebody
                                              > else's words being misunderstood - my own are misunderstood often enough :)
                                              >

                                              The language is more clear than most statements you've probably
                                              signed (legal contracts, for instance). Which part(s) are you unwilling
                                              to defend?

                                              --mj
                                            • Roy Morien
                                              I believe that you cannot win the argument by proposing Scrum alone, and depending on Scrum by itself to carry the day. There are other long standing practices
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Nov 12, 2007
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                                                I believe that you cannot win the argument by proposing Scrum alone, and depending on Scrum by itself to carry the day. There are other long standing practices ... what in academic research are called reference disciplines ... that need to be put forward to support the argument. The Toyota Way, the Lean Product Development practices (The Lean Development Institute or similar name, for example). There is 30 years of research and publication and practice leading up to and supporting 'agile development', a term only coined in 2001. These provide solid support for agile practices, and may be what is needed to be more persuasive.
                                                 
                                                Regards,
                                                Roy Morien




                                                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                                From: cx@...
                                                Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 20:31:34 +0000
                                                Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Agile Manifesto, a pragmatic statement

                                                --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, "Jim Sweeney" <jsweeney@.. .>
                                                wrote:
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > I wouldn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition. ..
                                                >
                                                > ;-)
                                                Perhaps it's because my market is public attorneys, but I have
                                                definitely had to defend Scrum to panels of Grand Inquisitors on
                                                occasion. Although in that case I think the metaphor needs retooling
                                                such that PMBOK = "Orthodox" and Scrum = "Protestant" but I may be
                                                carrying it too far.




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                                              • David Milner
                                                Roy, Excellent observation, and agree with you 100%. The Toyota Way is a compelling support reference doc for a board room. Dave Milner ... From: Roy Morien
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Nov 12, 2007
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Roy,
                                                   
                                                  Excellent observation, and agree with you 100%.  The Toyota Way is a compelling support reference doc for a board room.
                                                   
                                                  Dave Milner

                                                  ----- Original Message ----
                                                  From: Roy Morien <roymorien@...>
                                                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 4:07:51 AM
                                                  Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Agile Manifesto, a pragmatic statement

                                                  I believe that you cannot win the argument by proposing Scrum alone, and depending on Scrum by itself to carry the day. There are other long standing practices ... what in academic research are called reference disciplines ... that need to be put forward to support the argument. The Toyota Way, the Lean Product Development practices (The Lean Development Institute or similar name, for example). There is 30 years of research and publication and practice leading up to and supporting 'agile development' , a term only coined in 2001. These provide solid support for agile practices, and may be what is needed to be more persuasive.
                                                   
                                                  Regards,
                                                  Roy Morien




                                                  To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
                                                  From: cx@...
                                                  Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 20:31:34 +0000
                                                  Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Agile Manifesto, a pragmatic statement

                                                  --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, "Jim Sweeney" <jsweeney@.. .>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > I wouldn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition. ..
                                                  >
                                                  > ;-)
                                                  Perhaps it's because my market is public attorneys, but I have
                                                  definitely had to defend Scrum to panels of Grand Inquisitors on
                                                  occasion. Although in that case I think the metaphor needs retooling
                                                  such that PMBOK = "Orthodox" and Scrum = "Protestant" but I may be
                                                  carrying it too far.



                                                  Join Lavalife for free. What are you waiting for?


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