The Technical Aspects of Lean-Agile

July 4, 2006 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Listen to the podcastThe Technical Aspects of Lean-Agile

A lot of our podcasts have been focused on process and on roles – especially the product owner role. And indeed that seems to be what much of the Agile community seems to focus on. Because together, they help us make a lot of progress quickly. But they are not enough. In the corporate world, we always talked about paying attention to the “Iron Triangle” – People, Process, and Technology. All three are important. If you don’t have a balanced emphasis, the “machinery” of your development process will soon grind to a halt.

In this podcast, Al Shalloway starts bringing a focus on that third side of the triangle: the technical aspects.

Now, maybe this reflects Alan’s bias as an educator, because by “technical”, he is primarily focusing on the technical skills of the development team rather than on specific tools. Developers have to have the mindset and the skills to use their tools in a Lean-Agile way. That said, there are tools and infrastructure aspects to consider.

Technical skills for developers include the following:

  • Requirements analysis.
  • Building minimally functional systems.
  • QA and Acceptance Testing, especially using Fit – Framework for Integrated Test – and FitNesse. This is because it is very important to move QA to the beginning of development.
  • Lean-Agile Architectures through Design Patterns. Software architectures define relationships within which software components fit. Creating architectures that allow your system to change, to encapsulate variation. This directly supports a key lean principle: Defer commitment.
  • Test-driven development. Creating your tests up front so that you can design to interfaces and your product is always perfect. How to refactor, how to test.
  • Extracting stories from use cases. Especially if you work in environments that is used to creating heavy use cases.
  • Object-orientation. Nothing helps you understand how to create code that can be modified with minimal impact better than a good grasp of object-orientation.

Infrastructure requirements include the following:

  • Source code control
  • Automatic builds
  • Project management
  • Coding standards. The team has to figure out their coding standards, but using the same tool really helps.

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Music used in this podcast:

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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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