Lightweight Documentation: An Agile Approach

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One of the values of the Agile manifesto is working software over comprehensive documentation. However many agile teams think that now we are Agile we don’t need to document. Come to this session to learn about lightweight documentation and how to strike a sensible balance between working software and documentation. Learn which documents are necessary and which documents you can do without as well. Learn about JIT lightweight alternatives to our tradition documentation set. Leave with specific techniques to evaluate the value of each document along with recommended alternatives.

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  • Lightweight Documentation: An Agile Approach

    1. 1. Lightweight Documentation: An Agile Approach DC Scrum User Group (DCSUG) meeting 18-Aug-2014 August 19, 2014
    2. 2. • Excella Consulting for food, refreshments and space Thanks
    3. 3. Stephen Ritchie ◊ 20+ years of experience in software development ◊ Focused on Agile since 2007 – Commercial software development – .NET software engineering & Agile principles – Agile coaching & mentoring ◊ Organizer of the DC Alt.Net User Group ◊ stephen.ritchie@excella.com ◊ @ruthlesshelp
    4. 4. What could possibly go wrong with detailed specification? Introduction
    5. 5. “Documentation is not anti-agile. If it were, then there would not be any agile books, articles, or blogs.” - Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin, 9-Mar-2006
    6. 6. Why do we document?
    7. 7. Valid reasons Questionable One principle
    8. 8. Communicate, communicate, communicate
    9. 9. Traditional SDLC Phases • Definition • Analysis • Design • Construction • Test • Transition and Migration • Production
    10. 10. Traditional SDLC Phases • Definition => Detailed Project Plan • Analysis => Detailed Specification • Design => System Architecture • Construction => Detailed Design Spec • Test => Test Plans and Test Scripts • Transition and Migration => Installation Manuals • Production => Operation Manuals
    11. 11. Who, What, and Why? Exercise
    12. 12. • In your group • List of traditional SDLC documents. • For each document – Who is the audience(s) for the document? – What is the reader looking for in the document? – Why does the reader want the document? • In order to avoid something • In order to have/obtain/achieve something Who, What, and Why?
    13. 13. Who, What, and Why? Debrief
    14. 14. Traditional vs. Agile
    15. 15. • Executable Specification (Gherkin) • Document Stable Things (Final Concept) • Generate System Docs (Rev. Engineer) • Just Simple Enough (Not Too Simple) • Display Information Publicly (Wiki) • Purpose, Audience, Sufficiency • Iterate, Iterate, Iterate • Find A Better Communication Medium • Start With Diagrams The Team Already Uses Agile Docs: Best Practices
    16. 16. • Traditional – Project Plans – Schedules – Costs – Resources Planning • Agile – Product Vision – Product Roadmap – Releases – Sprints – Team Charter – Individuals • Core • Peripheral
    17. 17. • Traditional – The System Shall – Features – Functional Specs – Non-functional – Screen Specs – Rules Requirements • Agile – Product Vision – Product Roadmap – User Stories – Wireframes – Style Guidelines – Spec By Example – Definition of Ready
    18. 18. • Traditional – Architecture – System Overview – Detailed Design Design • Agile – Working Software – Unit Tests – Diagrams – Repository/Wiki • ReadMe • Developer Handbook • Release Notes
    19. 19. • Traditional – Configuration Guide – Installation Instructions – Administration Guide – User Manual Support, Ops, and User • Agile – Working Software • Installer • Context Help • User Experience – Wiki • ReadMe • Release Notes
    20. 20. Build a better document Exercise
    21. 21. • In your group • Iteration 1: Topic-Oriented Writing – Using Post-It Notes Write 1 Topic – Limit The Topic To 1 to 3 Words • Review • Iteration 2: Reader Stories – As a (reader) … I want (content) … So that … (I avoid something or I have something) • Review Build a better document
    22. 22. Build a better document Debrief
    23. 23. • Agile/Lean Documentation: Strategies for Agile Software Development, Scott W. Ambler http://www.agilemodeling.com/essays/agileDocumentati on.htm • Agile Technical Documentation, Jean-Luc Mazet http://writersua.com/articles/Agile_doc/ • Writing User Documentation in an Agile Development Environment, Anne Gentle http://justwriteclick.com/2007/07/02/writing-end-user- documentation-in-an-agile-development-environment/ More Info
    24. 24. • Let’s Go Around The Room • One Idea – Ways to improve the exercises – Topics I should cover – What could be done better next time One More Thing
    25. 25. DC Software Craftsman User Group (DCSCUG) DC Scrum User Group Alt .NET DC International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA DC) Agile Defense Proponents Team (ADAPT) DC Continuous Delivery Group (DCCD) Agile Leadership Network (ALN-DC) django-district DC Business Intelligentsia (DCBI) Our Community Excella founded or leads local IT organizations and Meetups. Join us for an event! Need space for your event? Contact Us: info@excella.com
    26. 26. • .Net/C#, Python, Java, Ruby Developers • Ux Designers • ScrumMasters • Agile Coaches • IT Project Manager & Program Analyst • Business Analysts (BA) • Business Intelligence (BI) Excella is Hiring
    27. 27. • Excella Upcoming Classes/Events – CSM in College Park, MD • 8/18 – 8/19 – Automated Acceptance Tests for BA • 9/8 – 9/12 – Advance CSPO • 9/15 – 9/16 – CSM • 9/22 – 9/23 – Agile BI Training • 10/7 – DC Business Analyst Development Day • 10/10 User Group discount code, contact organizer Training/Events
    28. 28. • AgileDC – http://agiledc.org/ – 21 OCT 2014 Events
    29. 29. • DC Business Analyst Development Day (DCBADD) on – Friday, October 10, 2014 – Westin Arlington Gateway​ • Conference will bring together Business Analysts, Project Managers, and Agile Practitioners to learn valuable skills for succeeding in an Agile environment. Topics will include:​ – Emotional intelligence​ – Change management​ – Agile requirements​ – Agile techniques in the Federal Government​ • Register - http://www.eventbrite.com/o/excella- consulting-2232953017 Events

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