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East Agile and Agile Tools

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Posted by Anonymous on 21 Jul 2010 at 13:01

One of the great aspects of Agile is that it can be continually reviewed and improved through retrospection. At East Agile, we apply Scrum, an Agile management process, but with a few changes. Agile itself is a collection of tools that are available to Agile users (Pair Programming, Standup meetings, Retrospective Meetings, Test Driven Development, etc.). XP (http://www.agilealliance.org/), Scrum (http://www.scrumalliance.org/ ) and Crystal (http://alistair.cockburn.us/Crystal+methodologies ) are examples of branded systems that draw from the set of Agile tools available. As such, there is nothing wrong, and it is quite Agile, to draw the best from these branded Agile systems (just as the founders of Agile did when they choose which tools were most Agile when engineering).

Scrum, as it stands, expects easy access to the Product Owner, all Stake Holders, the Scrum Master and the Team. Scrum also suggests that a minimum iteration should be around 2 weeks. Extreme programming feels iterations can be quicker. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Scrum as it stands. We greatly appreciate the transparency and consistency that Scrum brings to the table. But our Product Owners are often thousands of miles away.

I am going to blog about agile tools used by Scrum and how we implement those same tools within East Agile. Basically, we have been able to make Scrum work when the Product Owner is thousands of miles away: without losing transparency. We are also able to use Scrum and still deliver on a daily basis. I am sure we aren’t the first to do this but this is our story.

I think it is important to remember the Agile Manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org/) which says:

  •  Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  •  Working software over comprehensive documentation

  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  • Responding to change over following a plan

At East Agile, every decision we’ve made in implementing Agile has kept this manifesto in mind.

I think it is also important to give special mention to Ken Schwaber(http://www.controlchaos.com/) and Jeff Sutherland(http://scrum.jeffsutherland.com/) for bringing us Scrum.

[ED: See Kent Beck's seminal 1999 book: Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change. Addison-Wesley. It coins eXtreme Programming (XP). Follow @KentBeck on Twitter]

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