Monday, July 23, 2012

The value of methods in an agile world

Interesting definition of an agile method from this article.

A method is the way a team works to accomplish its goals. It describes how responsibilities are identified and assigned, what techniques are applied, and how success criteria are identified and achieved.

Documented methods enable an organization to:
  • Define clear responsibilities and critical sequences of events
    As teams become highly distributed, it becomes important to have information available at all times and from all places in some documented form. There isn't time to wait for an explanation, and we can't afford to be confused about what needs to be done, by whom, and when.
  • Capture and promote the organization's best practices
    To stay competitive, organizations must use industry-standard best practices and learn from their mistakes and their successes.
  • Baseline and measure the effect of changes
    If you do not establish a baseline method, what do you improve? Documentation helps you implement the agile principle of continuous improvement based on retrospectives.
  • Address compliance and audits
    CMMi, DO-178B, ITIL, COBIT, SOX, for example. Compliance can be a challenge. Documenting the method is typically necessary to achieve compliance and as evidence to demonstrate compliance.
  • Quickly start projects with a method that fits project characteristics

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