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Advanced Agile with Alistair Cockburn – day 1

So these are my takeaways from the first day of attending Alistair Cockburn’s Advanced Agile course

The further away you are from the code, the more afraid you get. The more afraid you get, the more reports you request. The more reports yuo request, the more work you impose on those trying to write code. Having demos reduces that risk at least.

[picture of practices, theory, self awareness stair] You move between the steps, but never two steps at a time.

Advanced Agile is when you know why it works (not just that it works).

shu-ha-ri;
shu: follow, learn one technique
ha: collect techniques
ri: invent techniques – you do not reflect upon what technique you use, you just use it.

You cannot be at the ri-level and be self-aware about it.

You must be able to tell other the negative sides of agile, since there of course are. If you do not, you’re doing dogma.

You don’t ”fail fast, fail often”, you learn (by dong mistakes).

Excercise:  ”Things that slows down the movement of ideas between minds”. Alistair argue that the pace of the project is how fast ideas can move between minds. So by removing things that slow that down, the project can move faster.
So take a session at a retrospecive, or a team building day, and make a sticky notes session about this. Discuss the ideas that came up and see if there is anything that you can implement.
For example, language, time zones, distance, walls, knowledge, etc. affects the speed.

Sometimes it is not best to co-locate. Sometimes it is better to keep your most important resources out of touch, so they can bog down and just code.

[picture of knowledge over time agile vs waterfall] In waterfall, you learn things after a long time has passed in the project. Doing integration late, testing late, getting user feedback late. In agile, you do these activities every sprint, sometimes several times per day (CI or CD for instance). That results in gaining knowledge very fast throughout the project, until all the major risks have been mitigated. Then the learning curve decreases.

[RBT picture] The learning curve in an agile project goes up the most in the beginning of the project, and then decreases at the end, where you are polishing the product. So the project can be divided into a risk-, business- and tail-phase. The same can be said of a user story itself. So You can divide a user story into a risk-mitigating part, a business (or bulk) part and a tail part where you add the chrome lists (if any).

 

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