From months to minutes
About the Book
The "agile" methods and techniques we use today were pioneered in the 1990s when projects typically ran for multiple years. In the meantime (nearly 20 years!) almost nothing has changed in their approach and they have become the dogma they were designed to supplant. XP zealots were displaced by Scrum zealots, Scrum zealots split into warring factions, people lost sight of the original agile values of collaboration and putting people ahead of process. Even when they are done well, these approaches are optimised for multi-month release cycles.
Technology has moved on, infrastructure that used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take many months to procure is now available on demand for peanuts. And yet we still do the same things we did 20 years ago. And we call it state-of-the-art.
When he left the world of Big Agile consulting Dan North found himself working with teams who were doing what he had been looking for all along. They iterate rapidly on ideas, delivering frequently to delighted and engaged stakeholders. Not just business sponsors, but everyone else: the downstream operations folks, the security and compliance people, even the poor souls responsible for IT governance and strategy, in fact all the vital-yet-unsung stakeholders that get lost in the simplistic Product Owner-plus-Scrum Team, or XP Customer-and-Programmers.
And they do it fast! Not years or months, they can take a new product idea into production in weeks or even days. High quality, business-critical software being used by real people to create real business impact. What's more they can sustain it over time. They build just enough infrastructure to support themselves as they grow, and they maintain the momentum of delivery and delight over multi-year product lifespans.
Maybe this is a massive fluke. Or maybe there's something in there that can be articulated, learned, applied, repeated. By you.
For the last three years Dan has been codifying, applying, teaching and talking about these techniques with experienced delivery folks all over the world, and the feedback has been tremendous. He has been promising to write it all up in a book, over thirty techniques covering everything from analysis, design and testing to team dynamics to planning and tracking, touching on specialist areas like legacy systems and managing distributed components. Dan recently found someone crazy enough to act as editor and sounding board, and Leanpub seems like the perfect vehicle for iteratively developing a book about iterative development. We hope you enjoy it.
Fits In My Head
- Shifting the Burden
- Clarity through Consistency
- Designing For My Head
- Contextual Consistency
- Evolving the Guiding Principles
- Difference is Data
- Principles over Practices
- Simplicity over Familiarity
- Messages from this chapter
Code is Cost
- The Value of Software
- A Systems View of Software
- Business Capability
- The Cost of Code
- The Goal of Software Delivery
- Effective not Productive
- Messages from this chapter
- The Goals of the Three Ages
- Agile methods optimise for predictability
- Beyond Features
- Transitioning between ages
- Messages from this chapter
- Fits In My Head
- Short Software Half-Life
- Replaceable Component Architecture
- Metal Corners
- Structure for Deployment
- Dancing Skeleton
- Clear the Decks
- Hair Trigger
- Phone Home
- Captain’s Log
- Spike and Stabilise
- Ginger Cake
- Rolling Rewrite
- Test-Driven Development
- Testing Corners
- Risk Planes
- Border Guard
- Analysis Dialysis
- Burn the Ships
- Light Saber
- Deliberate Discovery
- Six Thinking Hats
Planning and Estimation Patterns
- Deliberate Planning
- Investment Inversion
- Plan for Capabilities
- Blink Estimation
- The PARC Model
- Conway’s Law as a Lever
- Value Stream Mapping
- Dreyfus Squared
Seize the Day
- Three Questions
- Carpe Diem: the Goal of the Stand-Up
- The Real Three Questions
- Putting the Tea into Team
- The Case for Multiple Stand-Ups
- A warm welcome
- Unpacking the welcome
- Messages from this chapter
- Code Critique
- Shallow Silos
- Near and Far
- Team Journal
- Transitional Tool
- Transitional Methodology
- Strangler Vine
- Lighting the Forest
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