Saturday, February 28, 2009

10 Tips for Successful Agile Transition

Refactoring to PatternsJoshua Kerievsky gave 10 tips for successful agile transition at QCON San Francisco 2007:

1. Begin all transitions with a readiness assessment: Figure out if you are ready and if you are what kind of agile to apply.

2. Leverage the power of non technical and technical practices

3. Evolve by learning a little of everything. Start with a whole. Do not start with a fragment. Don’t do fragile agile. Whole enchilada transition: Broad brushstroke transition

4. Educate the organization antibodies: use pilot project community and begin educating right away future project communities. Don’t sell pair programming. Sell the risks of solo programming (tunnel vision, less productivity, less knowledge transfer, longer times fixing bugs, less code re-use, poorer testing, etc.)

5. Business trumps process: most of the time, but not ALL of the time. We need to manage the technical debt.

6. Engage the entire organization: Management, customers, support, development

7. Pick a big important project: Do some little ones to start, but at some point in the transition, you have to do a big one to avoid the antibodies.

8. Handle scaling problems: use parallel knowledge transfer for training part using e-learning

9. Metrics: Do some on your own, put if you want to get serious read Larry Putman’s book

10. Fail fast: use automated tests. Work iteratively.

This presentation is available at InfoQ at