Books and websites on Agile adoption


There’s been an information vacuum surrounding agile adoption for a long time now. Thankfully, books and other resources are starting to emerge. I’ve just been asked to provide some links on agile adoption and it seems like they might be of some use to the world at large so I’m posting them.

How can an application or language be agile?

Speech bubble with question marks

I’ve just read Chris Clarke’s post “How can an application or language be agile?”

I predicted a few years ago “agile” would follow “object-oriented” into the buzzword lexicon, right around when Microsoft started using the word. What happened with OO is that for a while everything was object-oriented. In some ways it was a step forward – lots of people got to hear about it and started trying to do it – but the meaning got so watered down that in the end there are a lot of lessons that most people haven’t really internalized. Hence we get some second-wave attempts to reconnect to the root concepts like Eric Evans’ book “Domain-Driven Design”.

Agile Narratives provides a way to gather and share personal stories relevant to Agile software development and mine them for knowledge. In 2005 I set up the Agile Narratives project and in August that year it was approved as an Agile Alliance programme. In 2006 Johanna Hunt joined the programme as co-director.

Your iterations are too short!


The trend towards shorter iterations, while being a good demonstrator of increasing development capability, also tends to rob planners of an opportunity to step back from project minutiae.

XPDay 2006 Continuous integration workshop outputs

XPDay logo

Lindsay McEwan photographed the posters produced by the attendees at our continuous integration problem-solving workshop at XPDay London 2006. And today I finally remembered to upload them to the XPDay website. Sorry for the delay.

The XPDay phenomenon

XPDay logo

It occurred to me for the first time at XPDay London this year quite what a phenomenon we started when we organized that first XPDay in 2001. We (myself, Nat Pryce, Tim Mackinnon, Steve Freeman, Rachel Davies) talked about and hoped that groups in other countries would follow our lead, but I don’t think we seriously expected so many to follow.

Perception isn't everything


This post carries on from “Agilists: Metrics aren’t always harmful”.

It seems popular in the agile world to privilege personal experiences, feelings and narrative over most other forms of knowledge-sharing. These things form the only widely accepted medium for expressing knowledge. In some ways that’s good. It’s about time we started actually listening to what people have to say instead of rushing to implement Taylorist production lines, finding it isn’t working and then just doing it harder.

Agilists: Metrics aren't always harmful... only sometimes

Burndown chart

My experience has been that many people in the agile world have an aversion to metrics.

One of our goals when Jason Gorman and I started running our metrics workshop “Do you get what you measure?” was to explore what metrics actually measure when people know the metrics are there. It’s easy for participants to see almost all the metrics that are initially proposed result in very undesirable behaviour. People play the system, often yielding the opposite of the intended effect of the metric.

Xbots - Robocode for Extreme Programmers


In 2002 Paul Simmons and I put together the “Robocode workshop” (we changed the name later to Xbots) for XPDay 2.

It gives programmers a chance to try out their teamworking and continuous integration skills in a competition. The competition makes it a good environment for learning how to stay on process under pressure.

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