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Do you want to be Agile? Ask me how!

I will be writing about Agile Methodologies and how to implement some practices in your team and also about software quality, software testing and programming languages. Feel free to send me questions about things that you want to apply with your team. I will give you some guidance and also lots of lessons learned.

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Do you want to be Agile? Ask me how!

Starting points to you, so you can become an Agile enthusiast


 

1. What is this?

Well, this is my first article on Mr Bool. I will be writing about Agile Methodologies and how to implement some practices in your team and also about software quality, software testing and programming languages. Feel free to send me questions about things that you want to apply with your team. I will give you some guidance and also lots of lessons learned.

 

2. Back to the basics

Just to make sure that we are on the same page. Agile in the context that we are working is not about being a quick developer or typing faster than others without direction. Agile is purely about effective communication and continuous improvement. Focus on the people and listen your customer. Always. Agile is a definition and an agreement to deliver working software and valuable software to your final users. The usage of Agile Methodologies can help you and your team to achieve that.

 

Also remember. Agile is not a silver bullet, I must say it. Your projects can continue to fail if they have been failing. Agile is not about applying techniques by the book and do magic tricks. Agile is about giving the priority to the people involved in the process. People are responsible to make a project fail or succeed. The use of Agile Methodologies will help your projects to see problems sooner. This way you will be able to work on the problems and continuously improve your process to achieve success.

 

Being Agile does not mean that you just do everything without planning and documentation. It is not just coding. There are lots of principles, values and practices to learn from. My suggestion is that you start reading the agile manifesto [1] and also the principles behind the agile manifesto[2].

 

So you wanna be an Agile developer? Let's check some good resources and basic information you need to start applying Agile with your team.

 

3. Start your engines!

 

So as I have talked before, you don't need to do all by the book. Actually, that approach doesn’t work at all! The first thing we need to work on you and your team is about a cultural change. You will need to communicate more, have full respect for your team, think about keeping things simple and always give and receive feedback from your team and your customers.

 

Learn the principles, values and try the practices. Adopt and Adapt! Try to use practices that add value to your team. So, in order to use any practices, first of all you need to be sure that your team needs that.

 

Right now you need to be aware that most of the principles and practices you will learn from agile methodologies and agile practices can also be found on the Toyota Production System (TPS). There are some resources I suggest you read before continuing. More material about TPS.

 

·         Books from Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno, related to the Toyota Production System [3]

·         Definition of TPS from Wikipedia [4]

·         TPS vision from Toyota website [5]

·         The Toyota Way book, from Jeffrey Liker [6]

 

4. Methodologies and Practices!

 

After you study a little bit more about Toyota, you can then check some of the best agile methodologies. We will be talking more about those soon!

 

·         eXtreme Programming – XP [7] – Lots of practices to be used while coding. And also a very good foundation to develop soft skills.

·         Scrum [8] – If you can't plan well, plan often! Scrum will help you to plan and define priorities with you business.

·         Lean Development [9] – Defects? Unused documentation? A month waiting for a feature to start testing? Same problems every day? Lean thinking will give you guidance to eliminate waste in a systematic way and will help you to improve your quality in every cycle.

·         Feature Driven Development – FDD [10] – You would like to drive your project doing modeling focused on the project needs, with short iterations and with a well designed set of milestones for each feature (design, code, inspections), FDD might be good for you.

 

The good thing is that we can use more than one agile methodology on the same project. We don’t need to stay focused only in one methodology.

 

So, this is it! Start learning about Agile Methodologies and I see you soon! Remember, if you have questions contact me! I can use your question in my next column!

 

5. References

 

1.      Agile manifesto. Available on the web, at http://www.agilemanifesto.org

2.      Principles behind the agile manifesto. Available on the web, at http://www.agilemanifesto.org/principles.html

3.      Taiichi Ohno. Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production.

4.      TPS definition on wikipedia. Available on the web, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Production_System

5.      TPS vision from Toyota website. Available on the web, at http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/vision/production_system/

6.      Jeffrey Liker. The Toyota Way.

7.      eXtreme Programming – XP. Available on the web, at http://www.xprogramming.com/

8.      Scrum. Available on the web, at http://www.controlchaos.com/about/

9.      Lean Development. Available on the web, at http://www.poppendieck.com/ilsd.htm

10.  Feature Driven Development – FDD. Available on the web, at http://www.featuredrivendevelopment.com/



is a software developer with 10 years of professional experience. Certified and expert in Java, Delphi and Delphi.NET technologies (and now also on Ruby on Rails world), he has been working as a Coach for Agile Methodologies since...

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