It’s important to take any framework or concept and make it your own. In combination with my team we’ve come up with the Fragile Methodology and this is our Fragile Manifesto.
Process and tools over individuals and interactions
Comprehensive documentation over working software
Contract negotiation over customer collaboration
Following a plan over responding to change
That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.
The terminology listed below may help you get to grips with Fragile…
- Zero-Based Programming : A method of tackling a problem that guarantees duplication. Remember, reinventing the wheel helps in the conversion of Dawdles to Meanders. See reinvention of Fragile Manifesto.
- Pretrospectives : Similar to the Retrospectives of Agile, but they are done before any work is started, hence the “Pre”. These should last as long as it takes to identify any possible problem you may encounter during the lifespan of the project. Possible problems should not only be discussed, but documented thoroughly. Remember to include many blank pages, with the words “Page left blank intentionally”. This will increase the page count, and therefore the value of the documentation. Pretrospectives should be by far the longest phase of any Dawdle.
- Dawdles : A similar concept to the Sprints of Agile. Dawdles should be a minimum of 6 months, but preferable much longer. It’s important not to fix the length of a Dawdle, or you may end up missing the deadline.
- Meanders : As a Dawdle extends indefinitely, it my be reclassified as a Meander. Meanders by definition have no fixed goals and no deadline. A Pretrospective may need to be reclassified as a Meander if it is done properly.
- Abuser Stories : Users can’t be trusted to know what they want, so it is important that decisions are made for them. An Abuser Story is similar to a User Story, but it is written by managers from the I.T. department, who are the only people that know what the users really want! Users can expect to receive 80% or less of what managers want them to have.
- Scram : A framework for avoiding development. When the phone rings, you receive an email or someone enters the room you shout “Scram!” and all the developers run for cover.
- ScramMaster : Someone who knows that permanent “out of office” reminders and a messenger status of Offline/Away/Busy can be enough to avoid even needing Scram.
- Kanbin : Scram is often the best way for development teams to get to grips with Fragile, but as they become less disciplined, many graduate to Kanbin. The major focus of Kanbin is to bin anything that looks like it could relate to work, leaving plenty of time to surf the net and buy products of Amazon and Ebay.
- Turndown Chart : A publicly displayed chart that depicts the total number of Abuser Stories that have been dismissed during any Dawdle or Meander.
- Fail-very slowly : By putting releases off almost indefinitely the ScramMaster can ensure that by the time the features are forced to release they are obsolete and will not attract further scrutiny.
- Continuous Deferment : An advanced technique to used to help convert Dawdles into Meanders.
- Ambiguous Integration : To prevent peer review within the Scram Team, a method of anonymously over-writing code should be implemented, prior to production deployments for User Testing.
- User Testing : Despite the rigours of Scram, if you accidentally produce something, you must avoid the cost and time associated with testing, so promote directly to live. Users will quickly identify problems for you.
- Ref*cktering : From past experience it has become apparent that a developer’s initial attempt at solving a problem is always correct. No effort should be wasted on reworking the initial solution.
- brITIL : To make sure users are able to cope with potential failures, all applications should fall over at random.
Note. Members of the Scram Team are now marginally trained in Fragile Methodologies and available for external training. The current list of Certifiable ScramMasters are:
- Alex Pop
- Paul Byrne
- Richard Brown
- Raj Gogna
- Tim Hall
- Ian Parkhouse