Leaders of development teams want to be able to adapt their existing product to innovative ideas and shifting market conditions. This is often the reason organizations “go Agile,” yet this flexible ability to deliver rich business value is often frustratingly out of reach.
Agile teams and their management are also familiar with the value of individual development practices. For example, Test-Driven Development’s ability to catch defects early, and to provide the team with the ability to confidently extend the product. What Rob has found by working with a number of teams, each for six months or more, is another much greater–and more rare–source of business value resulting from *diligent attention to software craftsmanship* and the resulting two-way *trust that forms between Development and Product.*
You will hear a handful of surprising (but real) first-person tales, each detailing a time when changing market forces, dramatic pivots, disruptive technological changes, or insightful requests were managed by the delivery team *within a single two-week sprint*. Each of these “Black Swan User Stories” (Rob’s term for powerful, risky, and unforeseen user-stories) resulted in multiplying user productivity, opening whole new markets, or delighting and retaining critical customers.
What we found in each case was that rapid completion of our Black Swan User Stories was the result of diligent, disciplined application of a few software craftsmanship practices; and that this resulted in *the concrete realization of organizations’ long-held expectations for Agile software development.*
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