Each and every time, the situation is the same: a big, messy code-base, few (if any) tests and many production issues. It’s no accident that, when he joined what would be the first XP team, the first thing Kent Beck said was: “*Let’s scrap it!*”

Even with a world class team, these problems can be almost insurmountable. And we don’t usually start out with world class teams. Learning all the XP practices is hard enough without a Big Ball (of Mud) and Chain holding you back.

So maybe we *should* rebuild. But the Agile way: incrementally, iteratively, and with close involvement from the business.

Using examples from practice, I’ll show that:

* We can set up a clear, loosely coupled architecture **around** the existing system, so we can replace parts *while its running*
* We are then free to use all our modern practices for the new parts, and start Continuous Delivery from the first sprint
* We can closely involve the business to surface the actually needed functionality, and build up Living Documentation in the process
* We can get even an inexperienced team using and accepting practices such as TDD and ATDD quickly

Additional Resources

About the Speaker(s)

Wouter Lagerweij is an independent Agile Coach who covers the whole spectrum: from the technical practices of Dev and Ops, through process and organisation all the way to business and product. Anything needed for the customer’s needs. He loves spending time with teams and organisations, from small startups to large enterprises, to figure out how to improve the way they make software, and make it more fun. To make that happen Wouter uses the knowledge and skills gathered in twenty years of experience applying Agile processes and practices from XP, Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Delivery, DevOps, Lean and Systems Thinking. To turn those improvements into real business opportunities, Wouter has added Lean Startup/Lean Enterprise approaches. He's even been known to, occasionally, use common sense.