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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by ziggy (25) on 2004.12.14 12:52 (#36781) Journal
    The whole point about XP isn't about tools, it's about process.

    You should test constantly and integrate continuously, whether you are using JUnit and Ant, prove and Make, Aegis, or scratch paper and a fleet of hamsters.

    You should be in constant contact with your customer, whether he is on site with the developers, teleconferences twice daily, video chats on demand, or retains a psychic to transfer thoughts through subspace telepathy.

    If you read between the lines in the XP literature, it's not about using software, as much as figuring out what works, and doing it consistently, constantly and cheaply. Whiteboards, 3x5 cards, and a meeting room with no chairs are probably more important to an XP project than any piece of project management software. This isn't a glib answer; project management software does not make a project succeed -- people make a project succeed. Find all of the impediments to successful delivery, and remove them one by one, whether that involves 3x5 cards, a build server, better chairs or a better programming language.

    That said, the only XP project management software I've ever wanted is something to paint pretty graphs to make regularly updated progress charts. And you can figure out what your project needs and write those CGI scripts yourself, instead of focusing overmuch on Microsoft Project.

    • Microsoft Project style tools are precisely what I am trying to avoid. However, there are still benefits to a good XP project management tool.

      • It's easy for me to misplace a 3x5 card. Not so easy for the computer.
      • It's tough for me to restore an entire paper-managed project from backup.
      • If someone else wants to see what I'm working on, they can glance at my online cards rather than bug me.
      • If I want to know what I'm working on and I don't have cards handy, I can glance online.

      The primary benefit of

      • Understood.

        But moving away from 3x5 cards for these use cases seems rather, um, heavyweight. Reading what problems you want to solve, the one word that comes to mind is photocopier.

        If you've got a good 3x5 card process at the moment, making photocopies of what you're doing this week takes about a minute, and has very little impact on your workflow. Added cost to the team, maybe $5/year. Added cost to adopt some software automation? Well, depends on how long it takes you to retool your workflow.