Agile, SCRUM and Technical Writing

Subject: Agile, SCRUM and Technical Writing
From: "Gillespie, Terilyn" <Terilyn -dot- Gillespie -at- ddiworld -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 10:49:33 -0500


Can you tell me the name of the speaker or the title(s) she has written?
We are starting to ease into the Agile framework, specifically using the
Feature-Driven methodology and I am very interested on what people are
doing, from a technical writing perspective, in such environments.

I have read a few articles that promote the "just in time" documentation
philosophy, going as far to say that comprehensive requirements and
functional specification are over kill, and that creating and
maintaining these documents can overburden a software development
project. Scott Ambler, from tells us: "One study
found that the creation of detailed requirements documents early in a
project and the change management procedures associated with doing so is
the leading cause of failure on IT projects. Another study found that
the creation of detailed design models had no effect on the success of a
software development."

In this or a similar article, he suggests: "Agile acceptance test
suites form a significant portion of the requirements documentation and
developer test suites the design documentation. We follow AM's Single
Source Information practice by having our tests do double-duty as
specifications and therefore we require significantly less external

Is anyone working like this in practice?
How is it changing your approach to documentation?
Have you changed the way you write funcitonal specifications? If so,
can you describe how or what has changed?
Anyone working specifically in a feature-driven environtment? Are you
using the client-valued function: <action> <result> <object>?

Any experiences, advise or discussion welcomed! TIA

Terilyn Gillespie
Technical Communications Specialist
Development Dimensions International, Inc.(DDI)
1225 Washington Pike
Bridgeville, PA 15017
terilyn -dot- gillespie -at- ddiworld -dot- com

Unleashing Executive Talent. Hiring & Promoting The Best.
Developing Extraordinary Leaders. Discover how at

Message: 32
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 09:08:58 -0800 (PST)
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Subject: RE: When you hear the Axe in the dark...
To: technical writing plus <doc-x -at- earthlink -dot- net>,
techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Message-ID: <615007 -dot- 52569 -dot- qm -at- web35408 -dot- mail -dot- mud -dot- yahoo -dot- com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1


BTW...just as closure to a question I asked in this forum a few weeks
ago, as Program Chair for the NY Metro STC, I went ahead and
selected, for our March 29th meeting, a speaker who has addressed
Agile and Scrums specifically from a technical writer's perspective.
In fact, she has published on this very thing in IEEE and has spoken
publicly about it.

Thanks for everyone's input on the question.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

"I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never
actually known what the question is."


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