The difference between Scrum and XP

We had a small discussion at work a few days ago about the difference between Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP). My take on the distinction is that Scrum is essentially a management technique, while XP is essentially a development technique. They certainly have a lot of overlap, but the different emphasis leads to some different …

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Agile and Offshore: Asking for Trouble?

Another post that resonates with our current working situation.There have been several attempts to make use of offshore software development in our company, and we are involved in one right now. The contrast between our “on-shore” agile, iterative, TDD, frequent check-in process and the approach used by our off-shore partners is very sharp. InfoQ: Agile …

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Should the Daily Standup Be Person-by-Person or Story-by-Story?

Mike Cohn raises an interesting and topical issue about how to indicate what you are working on at a daily stand-up meeting. In our project we are currently working on an iteration where all the stories overlap and interact. Our usual approach is that each developer grabs a story and works on it until its …

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Automated story-based acceptance tests lead to unmaintainable systems

A fascinating counterpoint to Gojko Adzic‘s writings on acceptance testing in an agile process. thekua.com@work » Automated story-based acceptance tests lead to unmaintainable systems Update: here’s some more discussion on this topic, and how it is affected by the nature of user stories User Stories are Just Schedulable Change

When Working Software Is Not Enough: A Story of Project Failure

As we continue to slog onward trying to ease our overall product process into something more agile, adaptable and effective, we continually run into roadblocks. Typically these are legacy process issues, such as an existing “finger in the air” customer commitment suddenly appearing to bypass all the carefully structured estimation and prioritisation. Although irritating, this …

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What to Do with Left Over Stories

Back to thinking about stories in the agile software development sense. For the first time this iteration we have reached a situation where two stories were left incomplete at the end of the iteration. I could give a bunch of excuses about changing priorities during the iteration, but the point is that agile processes are …

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Fitting agile acceptance testing into the development process

It seems a comon problem. One of the first steps in implementing an agile process (such as scrum) is to put in place a fixed iteration cycle in development, but but then find difficulties fitting post-development testing (a.k.a “system testing” or “integration”) into the mix. The main problem with testing after development is that any …

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Planning using post-its and spreadsheets

A short article about planning and organising a project using post-its and/or a spreadsheet to associate tasks with phases. The interesting thing about this article for me is the explicit mention that the process is cyclic and iterative, rather than linear. Tasks are expected to move around the phases in a variety of directions, and …

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Lego Is Not Just For Kids Anymore

Well. I already know (or maybe “hoped” is a better word) that Lego is not just for kids. But any article about both Lego and agile software development was bound to catch my attention. This article is about the idea of using Lego bricks for time tracking and bug prioritisation/organisation. Personally I think the suggested …

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We Vouch For…

This is really interesting – an attempt to use the techniques of social networking to sidestep the problems of questionable certifications for finding out about real skills and capabilities of people involved in agile software development. We Vouch For… If you sign up, and you have evidence of my skills and abilities, feel free to …

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Joshua Kerievsky about Industrial XP

At the moment, the company I work for is pressing forward on implementing an end-to-end agile approach to software production. With this in mind, I was intrigued to see an interview with someone who runs a company offering consulting and training in just this area, which they refer to as “industrial XP”. I found plenty …

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Experiments in Agile Estimation: Planning Poker

Estimation for agile processes is a bit of an odd duck. One the one hand it needs to be done before work starts, but on the other hand, the more such stuff is done before work starts, the less agile the process becomes. To overcome this apparent contradiction, several people have tried to devise more …

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Agile Acceptance Testing

This looks interesting. The role of testing (at least, testing beyond unit-level regression testing and TDD) is the subject of much discussion in software development at the moment. Maybe I should actually attend this talk at Skills Matter in London on 18 September. In The Brain of Gojko Adzic: Agile Acceptance Testing

The Agile Coach Role

I’ve never worked on a team with an explicit Agile Coach – I know several people who have worked in that role, just never with me. With that in mind, this article is an interesting exploration of what the role of “agile coach” actually entails. thekua.com@work » The Agile Coach Role