Story-Splitting #3: Easy Customer First

A valuable trick I sometimes forget: first solve the easy customer. Before we continue, I feel we need to pull some real cases in this set of muses about story splitting. It can't be super-concrete, because a) confidentiality and b) too much detail hides the idea. Hopefully, this will help a little with figuring out analagous ways to split stories…

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Sociotechnicality: Odd Word, Odd Concept

I've described the basic concept of sociotechnicality before. I know it's an awkward word. We don't really have an easy word for it, because some very old and successful approaches to the world that didn't need it. The world, however, has changed. Just about everyone I've spoken to has some idea of what "social" is and what "technical" is. Still,…

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Coaching Pro-Tip: Read More Narratives

A new coach in the VBCA[*] world asked me what she should be studying. What, she asked, should she be reading, to get good at promulgating change in her large org? [*] - Very Big Corporation of America, see Monty Python. She proposed a bunch of topics, including management, psychology, sociology, a variety of geekery sub-topics. My answer: anything narrative,…

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Story-Splitting #1: Understanding the Criteria

I sort my criteria for a story, so that when I step back from "perfect story", I step in the right direction. A "perfect" story has several attributes. Each of them contributes to its value in different ways, but maybe before we even list them we have to talk a little about what that value is. Remember our trio, the…

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One Story, One Day

TDD Pro-Tip: The step-wise technique has to account for what the user experiences when, so I have to build ways to control that when stories get bigger than a day. (A new friend asked the question: when stories get hefty, how do we "live at HEAD" without exposing our users to code that's still WIP.) First the one-liner: don't do…

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Large Stories Mean Side-By-Side Technique

When I have to have WIP that's live in production, I pretty much have to use all the approaches for side-by-side development. In some recent muses, we've talked about "in situ" vs "side-by-side" approaches to changing code. First, let's refresh our concepts for these two phrases. In both cases, we have a bunch of code A, and we wish we…

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Run Once, Run Away (RORA) Even Bites Pros

TDD Pro-Tip: RORA (Run Once, Run Away) is insidious, and although I am an old-guard agilist, I still have to actively resist its charms every day. Alright, well, look, I figured out after some helpful application of 2x4's to the head, that I needed to phrase these pro-tips as advice to me, even when, as occasionally, in my heart of…

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Steering Around The Pyramid Problem

TDD Pro-Tip: An important steerability force for me is in my strategies for sidestepping the pyramid problem. There are a lot of ways we could describe this "pyramid problem". Perhaps the most straightforward way is to ask how much code is "in play" during a test. At some point, and it varies by codebase, the answer becomes "a lot". When…

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