Re: Extreme Programming / Agile Development and documentation -Continued

Subject: Re: Extreme Programming / Agile Development and documentation -Continued
From: "A" <aurora -at- identicloak -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 17:26:19 -0500 (EST)


HSC Italian said:
> Hello,
>
> I want to thank everyone who responded to my initial post. All the
> feedback
> was very helpful. From the feedback I received I've summed up that
> User
> Stories and/or Use Cases should house what a requirement spec used to
> house.
> Is that correct? I guess I'm still lost as to where Documentation

That's as close as you're going to get in a truly agile environment.

> comes in.
> How am I to gather data when there is no written spec identifyng the
> changes
> to the product? The User Stories for this project are far from being
> comprehensive. They are a bunch of scribble the developers came up
> with that
> make sense to them only.

This is precisely why I think agile development sounds great on paper
and works for small projects, but anything larger than a toy means
that there will be such things as help, docs, customer support, and so
forth. Agile never addresses those concerns.

> When the project I am working on initially started the developers and
> Product Manager told me all I'd need to document this firmware project
> to
> operate printers would be available on the Wiki pages. I learned that
> was
> false. In the iteration meetings as I gathered my data and asked
> questions I
> was always directed to either a document on of the developers or
> product
> managers wrote on this product or I was told to talk to one of my
> SMEs. I
> did just that. Now I am being told I (the tech writer who is on five
> projects at the moment, need to be the SME). YIKES! Not possible!

That's what agile processes do. They ignore the fact that people are
not widgets and that other processes other than software development
are required to create a product. In a way, it's the anti-whole
product concept.

> I am very frustrated and need to get facts to show management that
> this
> method of working was created for developers, not
> TechPubs/Documentation. I
> need to propose a solution to the problem I see with this process and
> hope
> that someone out there and guide me to some resources I can go to to
> gather
> facts and offer a solution. I am working with one of our quality
> engineers
> who is confirming that this method does not work for techpubs, but if
> I
> could get articles, Web sites, books, something that supports my
> concerns
> and offers a solution, that would be fantastic.

I only wish there were such things. When the agile bug bit my former
workplace working, it was only the usual resistance of middle managers
that slowed its advances. I had a 1001 reasons why it does not work
for any product that requires documentation. Most of those reasons I
obtained by reading agile software articles talk about how wonderful
the process was and noting their extreme myopia.

Aurora
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References:
Extreme Programming / Agile Development and documentation - Continued: From: HSC Italian

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