Saturday, March 10, 2012

Who is agile : a review.

I suprised myself last night in the reaction that I had to this book. I wasn't sure what to expect from the book but I'd seen a couple of tweets about it. So I fired up leanpub, chose my price and downloaded.

I loaded the pdf and flicked through the first few pages, skimming the contents, and reading a few further pages. The format is a standard set of questions, an extra question and a recommendation of who to interview. I flicked through the first interview with Lisa Crispin which was painless, relatively interesting,  but the questions were uninspiring (I'm guessing a generic questionairre is difficult to 'jazz up').

I then looked at the names down the list and thought about the format and felt little bit angry. Is this book an intropection of the circle that the authors know? What does it give to anyone else? What about all the people this book doesn't cover? Are they not agile?

So I have some reserverations. I had kind of thought this book would be a guide of how to be agile. I was wrong. Fortunately, so far, it's not so bad.

I probably know of, read, and respect 10ish of the 30 odd in the book. Some of the interviews I've read are fairly intesting but the power this book are the links that people mention. I've spent the last hour getting lost in the technical/agile and non technical books. The interviews are all light reading too. Something you can, by its nature pick up, read one and leave for a few weeks.

What I was pleased about was the communites section at the back. There's a ton of interesting information and ideas about things you can do in your community some stuff I hope to bring.

What I must remember is that this is a work in progress and it can be regenerated on demand. If agile is your thing or you are wondering if its more that just scrum & TDD then I'd certainly recommend you pick this up. If you are looking for another agile manual, there are better suited texts.

Looking forward to the updates and following the links.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Sprint retrospective: INVEST in good stories.

The column to the right of the 6 cards is 'done'
I've just come back from a sprint's worth of holiday and so unfortunately have not been able to be in work during the sprint. We set a fairly low and what I thought was an achievable target.

However on my return I've see a lot of cards in the 'almost done' column. This was not the new beginning I had hoped for.

In the retrospective, the team explain that the blue cards were all dependent on all the cards being done.

The green cards were started by branching off the blue and therefore were dependent too. Nothing could go out. There's an acronym that can help here, INVEST. Stories should be Independent, Negotatiable, Valueable, Estimatable and Testable. Because the project is a rewrite and we have made breaking changes the cards had to go out together. We have decided to consider more the impact of doing this in the future.