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People who confuse RUP with Agile

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  • Ken Schwaber
    I had the following response to an analysis of RUP, XP,and Agile in the OTUG egroup: Sinan, I appreciate your effort to cast light on the discussion of agile
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 13, 2001
      I had the following response to an analysis of RUP, XP,and Agile in the OTUG

      I appreciate your effort to cast light on the discussion of agile and
      heavyweight, or - as it is now being referrred to - empirical and defined. I
      wish your future efforts would allow cutting and pasting, however, because
      the effort of recollecting your thoughts manually is tedious.

      You state that "a methodology specifies who does what activities on what
      work products, including how, why and when such activities should be done
      for various types or projects; and a process ... (more like the previous)

      In this statement you have dissected the difference between agile and
      heavyweight, not elsewhere in your paper. As first discussed by Jim
      Highsmith's book on adaptive development and further clarified in a number
      of other books, articles and talks coming up this fall, agile processes do
      not have any of the characteristics that you state above. Those
      characteristics are only those of heavyweight methodologies and processes.

      As stated in process control theory, defined processes have the methodology
      characteristics you stated. These are referred to as defined process models.
      They are used when everything can be well enough defined that the noise from
      the processes doesn't interfere with their predictable operation.

      The other process control model is the empirical model, where it is
      understood that the activities are not predictable, are non-linear, and are
      noisy. Constant inspection and subsequent adaptation are used as a control

      The agile alliance states that the failures of systems projects over the
      last twenty years can be directly laid to the feet of using an inappropriate
      process to control projects ... that the defined process model (based on the
      Taylor manufacturing model) is just wrong for software projects and won't
      work no matter how hard you tweak it. When the Standish group bemoans that
      over 2/3 of all projects fail or vastly overrun, they mean that thee
      projects fail to live up to the predictions and definitions provided by the
      methodology. The people don't fail, the definition of the project fails. The
      work doesn't fail, the expectation set by the methodology fails. Such an
      important distinction.

      The agile alliance uses processes that inherently rely on the empirical
      model of process control. They allow requirements and architectures to
      emerge, and teams of professionals adapt to what emerges. Inspections occur
      when checking the results of each iteration's increment, as well as through
      daily status meetings.

      I know you won't be the last, and you certainly aren't the first to propose
      that the difference between RUP and XP, heavyweight and agile, and defined
      and empirical are simply semantic and the "rup"ture can be resolve. Not
      true. This is a basic model difference of how to manage and control
      development projects where the requirements, technology, and people iteract
      to create complex, difficult to predict patterns of activities.

      I hope this helps.

      Ken Schwaber

      -----Original Message-----
      From: owner-otug@... [mailto:owner-otug@...]On Behalf
      Of Sinan Si Alhir
      Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2001 1:13 AM
      To: OTUG
      Cc: Sinan Si Alhir
      Subject: (OTUG) XP, the Agile Alliance, and RUP

      The following paper may be of interest:

      * "XP, the Agile Alliance, and RUP"

      This paper elucidates the reality beyond the surface of the debate between
      heavyweight approaches and lightweight or "agile" approaches by delineating
      between the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and computer programming
      languages, deciphering the concepts of "weight" and "agility" relative to
      methodology and process, and exploring and bridging the chasm between XP,
      the Agile Alliance, and RUP to conclude that *RUP is a more massive but more
      agile methodology than XP, from which appropriately weighted and more agile
      processes than XP may be derived, with which more agile projects than XP may
      be executed*, and given RUP's broad scope, breadth and depth, and
      flexibility as a process framework and given XP's collection of practices,
      *the chasm is bridged via applying RUP, as a process framework, within which
      XP, as a collection of practices, may be leveraged*.

      I welcome your comments.

      Thank you.

      Sinan Si Alhir
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