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Tuesday, 5 November – 8:30-12:00 Morning – Convention Ctr - Room 2B

23 Designing an Agile Methodology

Alistair Cockburn
Cockburn and Associates, acockburn@aol.com

A methodology 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. Definition and principles for designing agile methodologies are given, along with three examples of effective agile, increasingly lightweight (real) methodologies are given [Crystal Orange, Crystal Clear, Extreme Programming], 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. Considerations about success and failure in affecting culture are visited again at the end. Learn to identify and diagnose the parts of your organization's methodology, and learn ways to make it more effective. Attendees should have significant software team experience, preferably but not necessarily OO, and must have used at least one methodology and thought about others.

Attendee background

Experienced developers, team leaders, methodologists and technology selectors trying to choose or design a methodology for their organization.




Alistair Cockburn, founder of Humans and Technology and Cockburn and Associates, has been known for his work on light and agile methodologies for a decade. He was special advisor to the Central Bank of Norway, and the designer of the IBM Consulting Group's first OO development methodology. He is the author of "Surviving OO Projects," "Writing Effective Use Cases," and "Agile Software Development." 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 http://members.aol.com/acockburn and http://crystalmethodologies.org.