I walked into this one late - the pub we hit for lunch wasn't really ready for a sudden flood of 20 people :) So - I came in to hear Joseph talking about "retrospective coherence", which we discussed in this podcast awhile back.
Here's a good question: "How long from here to Ottawa?" - Answer: 4 hours. The problem: how many implicit assumptions are built into that answer (by car, with what kind of traffic, in what kind of weather, etc.).
What is Agility
- It's not just going faster with less process
- It's a discipline
We call it the art of the possible. In fixed price contracts, customers don't get to change their minds (except later, at an additional cost. In an agile contract, customer pays for every iteration, can change direction after every iteration, and gets a running (viable) system after each iteration. If you do this right, you can start delivering value in as little as 2 weeks.
Scrum is a system for managing work in a socially complex domain. One where there is uncertainty due to unfairness/emergence issues (technology change is an example of the latter). It's been around since 1990, and doesn't say anything at all about the engineering process itself. Interestingly enough, it can be used in a fully CMM level 5 fashion (making it Enterprisey ready :) ).
Interestingly enough, one of the first software product uses of Scrum was at Easel on the Enfin product (Enfin is the predecessor of Cincom's ObjectStudio). One of the biggest priorities of Scrum is keeping the product backlog open as a living document. It needs to be revisited at the end of each iteration and updated to reflect new information. So with that, we have the first break - we'll go through the Scrum practices after the break. So - stay tuned for the next post :)
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