C. Keith Ray

C. Keith Ray writes about and develops software in multiple platforms and languages, including iOS® and Macintosh®.
Keith's Résumé (pdf)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Extreme Planning

(Originally posted 2003.May.06 Tue; links may have expired.)

Extreme Programming has planning at several levels.

Release Planning, where the entire project is divided into small user-centered features (stories), written onto index cards, estimated by the developers, and prioritized by the story-writer. The story-writer tentatively assigns the stories to iterations (tentative, because the amount of work that can be done per iteration is only a guess when they do their first release plan), with an end-user release planned in three months or so, when enough features will have been implemented to make a release worth-while.

Iteration Planning, where a set of stories is selected by the story-writer (just enough to fit into one iteration as measured by the previous iteration). The developers flesh out the stories with the story-writer and (in some teams) break down the stories into tasks, writing the tasks onto index cards. Many teams put the cards and tasks are put on the wall.

When two developers get together to pair program, they may break down the task (or story) that they are working on into list of tests to do, and a design in UML or whatever notation they think best. This may be written on index cards or a white board. Then they implement one test at a time in test-driven-development.

I asked on the IXP mailing list if people had used the Extreme Programming's Planning techniques (sometimes called the Planning Game) for organizing home chores or other non-work things. Yes they have.

Jiva DeVoe planned a cross-country move on index cards, including estimates, posting them on the wall, etc.

Joshua Kerievsky tells us that Francesco Cirillo, who does XP training in Italy, uses XP-style planning to organize and execute a weekly dinner, with student volunteers doing most or all of the cooking.

Amy Schwab planned a wedding using her techniques of "project community" and "adaptive project methodology". She wasn't familiar with XP planning, but she also used "cards on the wall" (post-it notes instead of index cards). She let go of traditional project "control-oriented" planning, and let family and friends be in charge of "their own quality of experience."

Diana Larsen tells us that http://www.shesintouch.com/ does home chore planning similar to XP's planning, including using index cards, estimates, and measured velocity (and training workshops) [and this predates XP by 20 years].

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