Chapter 1. Introduction

Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence.

Joseph Wood Krutch


  • What's in this book?

  • Predictable versus new product development.

What value will you get from studying this book, an introduction to iterative and agile methods?

First, you will know the key practices of four noteworthy methods, Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), the Unified Process (UP), and Evo (one of the original iterative methods). This is a "Cliffs Notes" summary, each chapter has something useful to you as a manager, developer, or student of development methods.





Second, your learning curve will be shortened, as this is a distilled learning aid. The four method chapters have the same structure, to speed comprehension and compare-contrast. There's a FAQ chapter, a "tips" chapter of common practices, and plenty of margin pointers to related pages paper hyperlinks.



Third, you will know motivation and evidence. Some organizations accept the value of iterative development, but others are still reluctant. If you need to make a case for an iterative project experiment, you will find in this book the key reasons, research, examples of large projects, standards-body acceptance, a business case, and promotion by well-known thought leaders through the decades. The research and history sections are also of value to students of software engineering methods.



Note that agile methods are a subset of iterative methods; this book covers both types.

The chapters may be read in any order; the big picture is this:

1. Introduction, and predictable vs. inventive development.

5 6. Motivation and evidence chapters for iterative and agile methods; useful for some.

2. Basic iterative and evolutionary method practices.

7 10. Four method summaries on Scrum, XP, UP, and Evo. Note: practices can be mixed.

3. Summary of agile principles and methods.

11. A tips chapter that expands on some of the method practices, plus others.

4. An agile project story to pull some ideas together.

12. A frequently asked questions (FAQ) chapter.

Finally, people trump process. Every process book should probably include this standard disclaimer:

Process is only a second-order effect.[1] The unique people, their feelings, qualities, and communication are more influential.

Some problems are just hard, some people are just difficult. These methods are not salvation.

[1] A quote from the agile methodologist Alistair Cockburn.

Agile and Iterative Development (Agile Software Development Serie. A Manager's Guide2003)
Agile and Iterative Development (Agile Software Development Serie. A Manager's Guide2003)
Year: 2004
Pages: 156 © 2008-2017.
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