Hate estimating? Stand-ups? Unit-testing?
Ever wondered why anyone ever thought those were a good idea? Are they useful? *Is there an alternative?*
Rob has been there. A half dozen XP teams in the “olden days” – and some recent coaching with teams successfully using TDD, BDD, Kanban, and/or Mob Programming. From those experiences, one thing is clear: Rule-based, one-size-fits-all methods cause everyone a lot of pain.
Yet the “do whatever feels right, dude…” hack-and-fix approach doesn’t work either. (He tried that in the **really** olden days.)
So, what really does work? How does a software development team eventually become far more successful at avoiding defects and maintaining their code?
Highly-successful teams are free to experiment with their methods…their “Way.” But not just any experiment (e.g., “If it compiles, we ship it!” [sadly, that’s not a made up quote]), but an informed incremental adjustment with full awareness of the team’s real values. That is how Agile methods have evolved over time.
We’ll all play a simple, loosely-structured “game” to identify interesting practices (techniques, events, activities, methods, …), and their purposes and strengths; then combine them in various ways to “score” them as a complete methodology.
We’ll also set aside time to discuss the pros and cons, or talk with someone who has used (or gave up) a practice for a few months or years.
We’ll need to be selective in order to “win”: The scoring algorithm (using the term loosely, here) penalizes a practice that excessively overlaps with another, so simply combining all the whizbang practices ever dreamt of will result in a lower score. We’ll also limit our attention to only those practices we find novel, controversial, & interesting.
Rob will wrap up by sharing a few of the methods that those successful real-world teams have chosen for themselves, and you can apply your group’s scoring criteria against them to see how they compare.
In this game, everybody wins! You and your team come away with your own ideas (and perhaps an action plan) on interesting new practices to try, or old practices to discard.