RE: Extreme Programming (XP)

Subject: RE: Extreme Programming (XP)
From: "R. Armstrong" <rarmstrong -at- alpha -dot- ipswitch -dot- com>
To: "'Bill Kerschbaum'" <kbombbilly01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 12:02:28 -0400

If done correctly, any agile methodology can be both beneficial and
empowering to a technical writer. Unfortunately, many development groups
think they can adopt just a few 'agile' principles and think they can reap
all of the rewards without really changing or sacrificing anything at all. I
do not have a lot of practical experience with XP, but I have worked with
SCRUM for over a year and have seen a lot of success in the quality of our
application, the quality of our documents, and the quality of the
interactions between our groups that make up our development team.

If the developers are using an agile method and you decide to not be
involved that closely, they may effectively leave you 'in the dust.'
Communications are often handled verbally, and if you aren't around to hear
it when a decision is made, you usually won't be brought into the loop. It's
important with the shorter development cycles to be not only 'in' the loop,
put actually a player that makes the loop.

The only cons I can think of with the methodology in itself, is that it
takes time to get used to, it takes complete buy-in from all members of the
team, and it keeps you on task the majority of your time (where you won't be
able to work on side projects or research tasks without it effecting the
work you can do on the iteration.)

The pros are vast and far-reaching, but in a nutshell, you go from being
someone who touches the product outside of the cycle, to someone who helps
the cycle along at every turn.

If you need more specific information, I'll answer what I can off-list.

Robert Armstrong


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Extreme Programming (XP): From: Bill Kerschbaum

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