Re: The Agile / Xtreme TW

Subject: Re: The Agile / Xtreme TW
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2009 21:28:06 -0500

My slight experience with agile-like development has suffered from some
of the usual diseases that keep the writer out of the loop.

I've even seen where the writer had been access to the source code, and
couldn't quite get the hang of it, but later discovered that what he was
seeing (unlike what the developers saw) was stuff from the previous
iteration of the code, before it went agile-like. On some projects (way
before Agile) I was on a writing team that practised creative paranoia.
"Why haven't we heard from Development Team X in three weeks? I bet they
have a secret project!" (Sure enough, they do, and they are unaware
it'll need end-user docs.) But that was in a Previous Millennium; with
the passage of time we have become more modern, and now everything is

Michael West wrote:
> You need to be aware of the distinction between end-user training and
> documentation (including online help), on the one hand, and technical
> documentation (including detailed specifications, mainly) on the other. It
> is the latter that Agile practitioners, in general, see as a time-waster.
> I've corresponded with Scott Ambler on this issue, and he has emphasized
> that requirements for end-user training and documentation should be treated
> as "user stories". He also emphasized that when he says "no more
> documentation than absolutely necessary", it is the USER who specifies how
> much is necessary, and it is extremely important that this requirement be
> handled in a disciplined way.
> Not all Agile-based development handbooks make the distinction sufficiently
> clear, and it is unfortunate that there was no "User Experience" advocate on
> the original Agile team.
> On the plus side, I work in an Agile development environment, and I have
> found that having the user training and documentation "stories" up on the
> board for the whole development team to see every day helps get these tasks
> the priority and "respect" among code developers they seldom had in the bad
> old days of "waterfall" project mismanagement.


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Re: The Agile / Xtreme TW: From: Michael West

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