Friday, January 27, 2006

Agile and Traditional Way Comparison

I picked up a good discussion in an agile forum comparing the high ceremony process and the agile process:

Now replace one inexperienced developer with an experienced developer as team lead. Next add an otherwise good but non-agile higher ceremony process. This team will have low efficiency, but they could succeed. However even with success, after a couple of years, the dozen developers would still be quite inexperienced, because their lead insured their quality instead of themselves.

In contrast, if one had eight inexperienced developers, four   experienced developers and good agile process that promoted shared   experiences, communication quick dissemination of information and   ideas (say pairs who switched off every week), those developers   would likely not only succeed, but their junior members would become experienced much more quickly.

Now it will also be true that the high ceremony shop will also   increase its likelihood of success from having a greater   percentage of experienced team members. With the greater   percentage of experienced team members, the inexperienced developers might gain experience more quickly or they might not,
because high ceremony processes do not inherently promote learning and  sharing, as agile processes do.

Camille Bell says:
> Agile practices assume a high level of self discipline. High ceremony does not. >Self discipline is easier for experienced developers and the type of discipline >experienced developers are likely to impose on themselves often has a core of >quality mined effective practices.

Ron Jeffries Says:
I believe I would modify the thoughts above to include the notion of "team" discipline. The members of a well-functioning Agile team support each other in maintaining discipline. In that sense, it's not just "self". It remains a valid concern that a team without experience may not know what discipline to maintain, or how to maintain it.

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