Using Patterns Thinking to Help in Agile Transformations

May 10, 2018 — Posted by Al Shalloway

First, let's understand what the value of patterns are. Although often referred to as "solutions to recurring problems in a context"-Chris Alexander-4 pgs from the end of his book he also says "At this final stage, the patterns are no longer important: the patterns have taught you to be receptive to what is real.”

Design patterns are about encapsulating behavior either directly or in support of it. There are three mantras of design patterns:

  1. design to behavior
  2. prefer delegation over inheritance
  3. encapsulate varying behavior

Patterns have sometimes been called big design up front because it seems like we need to know all of the variations up front to encapsulate them. But encapsulating behavior can be done over time. In Agile, we 1st build 1 thing. Then, we add other cases. Patterns enable us to encapsulate these variations that we become aware of over time. This is what is known as emergent design. We build one case, then refactor when we learn of another case so we can use the open closed. Then add another case.

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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