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.
About the Author
Dan North has been involved in the agile software movement from the very beginning and spent 8 years with one of the leading agile consulting firms, becoming a principal consultant along the way. He developed his own agile methodology, Behaviour-Driven Development, and has become a well-known speaker at conferences all over the world. He is a strong advocate of the values of the Agile Manifesto, but he sees a massive disconnect between the manifesto and the methodologies.