Wednesday, Afternoon
Designing a Light Methodology
Convention Ctr – 205C
Alistair Cockburn, Humans and Technology

Learn to identify and diagnose the components of your organization’s methodology, and learn ways to make it more effective. The methodology of an organization is a social construction that includes the roles, skills, teaming, activities, techniques, deliverables, standards, habits, and culture of the organization as it develops software. The first part of the tutorial introduces language and constructs needed to evaluate, compare, and construct methodologies. These include precision, accuracy, tolerance, relevance, and scale, along with the nine basic elements of a methodology.

Several examples of effective, lightweight, and real methodologies are given, along with commentary on the social setting for each. The tutorial examines the conditions suited to shifting from a lighter to a heavier methodology and the penalty for doing so. The tutorial ends with the presentation of a small family of lightweight and practical methodologies, including eXtreme Programming, which are optimized for productivity, making maximum use of human, face-to-face communication. Considerations about success and failure in affecting culture are visited again at the end.

Presentation Format: Lecture plus open discussion.

Attendee Background: Experienced developers, team leaders, methodologists, and technology selectors trying to choose, design, or tune a methodology for their organization. Should have significant software team experience, preferably but not necessarily OO. Must have used at least one methodology and thought about others.

Alistair Cockburn, founder of Humans and Technology, was special advisor to the Central Bank of Norway for object technology and software project management, and the OO methodology designer for the IBM Consulting Group. His book “Surviving OO Projects,” was published in 1998, and “Writing Effective Use Cases” in 2000. He is an expert on use cases, object-oriented design, project management, and software methodologies. He has been the technical design coach and process consultant on projects ranging in size from 3 to 90 people. Materials that support Alistair’s workshops can be found at

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