Comments on Agile practices (focusing on eXtreme Programming)

Stop the Line

Stop the assembly line

In his recent post¬†“Go Faster By Not Working” Adrian talks about how having the entire team stop when the build breaks can result in the entire project going faster.

Lean manufacturing, the precursor to the “Agile” methodologies, has the concept of “Stop the Line”. When a defect in the product is identified, the entire assembly line stops to locate and rectify the factors that caused the defect.¬†

The major difference in a software development “line” is that there is no physical assembly line, so it is easy to blur the distinction between what is and isn’t part of the product and hence the “line”.

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Just in Time Risk

We are getting our bathroom renovated at the moment, and the completion date has been extended by a couple of days.

I guess it should have been expected, but what was interesting was that it seems the delay is not due to unexpected issues in the fit-out (as in water damage, etc) but rather the delay in the supplier getting the taps to the company doing the work.

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To Fail Fast, you need to know when to Fail

One of the basic principles of XP is to provide value. To achieve this ,you do the stories first that bring the most value. Now if those stories are risky or big, then you want to fail fast and move on. However in software development, most things are possible…it's just a matter of time. So how do you fail?

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Technical Skills matter

Suneth attended QCon last week and in his post "The Great Convergence" he summarises Kent Becks comments on "the great convergence of Business Trends and Developing Trends in the IT world".

I totally agree with the view that today's developers require far more social and people skills than evidenced in the traditional view people have of the developer. I also think that the Agile practices help focus a development team on the needs of the client and hence force engagement with the business users, resulting in the need for and development of these skills.

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Ephox Talking Car

No, the Ephox Talking Car isn't some new form of Kitt from Knight Rider … showing my age there. The Talking Car is a token we are using during our stand-ups to not only indicate who's turn it is to speak, but to remind the speaker of what the 3 main points to discuss are.

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