Monday, May 23, 2011

Playing By the Rules

I’ve been trying to reflect on some of the recent successes we’ve had at work.  These successes where highlighted in a recent retrospective we ran last week.  Increased teamwork/collaboration, and improved built in quality to a certain degree. 

How over the last couple of months has the team seen such a rapid improvement?

The answer is pretty simple really - we have been playing by the "rules" outlined in eXtreme Programming & SCRUM (to a certain degree):
  • Pairing
  • Test Driven Development
  • Planning Poker
  • Retrospection
  • Daily Stand Up's
  • Continuous Integration (to some degree)
  • Reflecting on Agile In A Flash cards 
  • Watching Clean Coders
As one of the Agile In A Flash cards said the other day - we have been playing by the rules, which is something we must keep doing until as a team we are more mature.  Once more mature we can start to review the "rules" and adapt them to our situation if they do not fit.  Hopefully this will allow us to further satisfy the needs of our customers.  In my opinion the most important part of software development. 


As a team we probably need to refine our pairing, and having properly defined roles during pairing.  How to ensure that both driver and navigator are working together.  A common problem is the navigator is distracted.  We could simply do the write a failing test then swap, scenario which I have seen work well at XPMan.  Another way is to use the Pomodoro Technique.  As I'm writing this it's probably the case that as a team we should decide on a way to pair and follow this for a couple of weeks an retrospect on it!

Test Driven Development is another area that we need to get better at, but I think we know what we need to do - we just need to start doing it!

As you can see there is still much to do, a recent mind map highlighted just how far our team has to go.  Some of this is in relation to rules we've not implemented and some of this is just to enusre we keep applying the "rules"

1 comment:

Russell said...

Hi Dave,

Excellent post mate, sums up really well all the good stuff that's going on right now in the team. I wonder if part of the reason we've seen so much positive change so quickly is because we've almost done a "reboot" of the team? We've not tried to phase in these practices, we've literally ditched our old way of work, and been lucky that the right people (with the right attitude) and the right work have come along for us to try a wholesale adoption of the entire XP / SCRUM ecosystem?

Russ