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RE: [scrumdevelopment] chopsticks

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  • Shimmings, Ian
    Good illustration. I was at the same course and meal - must have been at the other end of the table. Ian Shimmings ________________________________ From:
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 29 4:54 AM
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      Good illustration.  I was at the same course and meal – must have been at the other end of the table.


      Ian Shimmings


      From: Clarke Ching [mailto:lists@...]
      Sent: 29 October 2004 10:01
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] chopsticks


      Last week, I met David Putman, an XP Coach from Exoftware.  We were both attending Mary and Tom Poppendieck's Lean course in Scotland .

      At the end of day 1 we went out for dinner at Wagamama's in Glasgow - a noodly sort of place.

      I was sitting opposite David admiring his x-p-something-or-other t-shirt when he pointed to one of Mary's as-yet-unused chopsticks and said, 'Imagine this chopstick is a project.  This end represents the start of the project and this end the finish'.

      start --------------------------- finish

      I examined the chopstick and said  okay.

      'Now', he said, 'where abouts on this project timeline would you least like to find defects?'

      I looked closely at the chopstick.  Is this a trick question?  Obviously the worse place to find defects is near the finish of the chopstick - err project - when the cost of reworking the code is highest and you've got the least amount of wiggle room to recover.  I pointed to the finish end of the chopstick and said 'Here!'.

      start --------------------------- finish 


      He nodded and I quietly sighed in relief.  There was no trick.

      'So', he continued, 'How do you find defects?'

      'By testing', I said. 

      'And, when you plan your waterfall projects, when do you plan to do the testing?'

      start --------------------------- finish 
      start -analysis-design-code-test- finish 

      'At the end', I said, pointing to the spot on the table where the chopstick had been, since Mary had reclaimed when her first dish arrived.

      'So', he smiled, 'You PLAN' he emphasised the word plan - 'to find defects at the worst point of the project, when you are at your most vulnerable and the defects are the most expensive to fix?'.

      'Um, yes, I suppose so', I said, before pointing out that I've recently "reframed" myself as an unemployed writer and "planning" simply doesn't fit with my Bohemian lifestyle anymore.

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