[ba-ohs-talk] Facilitated Evolution: Agile software development
Very much reminds me of constructivist learning methodology...
Prominent in this writing is Martin Fowler, who has written extensively on
using UML. It strikes me that this is represents a mechanism for
"facilitated evolution". (02)
""We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and
helping others do it. We value:
· Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
· Working software over comprehensive documentation.
· Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
· Responding to change over following a plan."
This statement has a number of fascinating aspects, not the least of which
was getting 17 people to agree to it. First, the word uncovering. While
this was a group of experienced and recognized software development
"gurus," the word uncovering was selected to assure (or frighten) the
audience that the Alliance members don't have all the answers and don't
subscribe to the silver-bullet theory.
Second, the phrase by doing it indicates that the members actually practice
these methods in their own work. Ken Schwaber (a proponent of SCRUM) told
of his days of selling tools to automate comprehensive, "heavy"
methodologies. Impressed by the responsiveness of Ken's company, Jeff
Sutherland (SCRUM) asked him which of these heavy methodologies he used
internally for development. "I still remember the look on Jeff's face," Ken
remarked, "when I told him, 'None—if we used any of them, we'd be out of
Third, this group is about helping, not telling. The Alliance members want
to help others with agile methods, and to further our own knowledge by
learning from those we try to help.
The value statements have a form: In each bullet point, the first segment
indicates a preference, while the latter segment describes an item that,
though important, is of lesser priority. This distinction lies at the heart
of agility, but simply asking people to list what's valuable doesn't flesh
out essential differences. Roy Singham, Martin's boss at ThoughtWorks, put
it well when he said that it's the edge cases, the hard choices, that
interest him. "Yes, we value planning, comprehensive documentation,
processes and tools. That's easy to say. The hard thing is to ask 'what do
you value more?'" (03)