Agile, Extreme Programming, Scrum, and/or Iterative? Agile Testing

Invariably when customers ask for consulting services to assist with the implementation of SCM and application development best practices, they already have an idea of what is happening in the industry. Typically the customer would talk at length about the latest development methods, the newest techniques, and the most popular processes that will increase productivity, reduce costs, and convert their currently unremarkable development teams into superdevelopers who would be the envy of their competitors.

In addition to managing the varied interpretations of the latest “fads,” the endless meetings would involve representatives from all walks of the enterprise IT/business management world, including developers, testers, release managers, configuration managers, project managers, production control, business analysts, change control board, architects, etc.

These meetings would attempt to address the ideal “standard” that should be adopted across the enterprise. It very quickly became apparent that there was no one “standard” that could meet even one customer’s enterprise requirements; the ideal was understood and seemed logical, but the implementation and management of any one method didn’t appear comprehensive enough or scalable.

After years of getting involved in such exercises–understanding,implementing and reworking the various development methods available–I embarked on a cherry-picking exercise of selecting the strongest elements of multiple techniques, in order to create a concoction that I embraced as our “best of breed. ” In addition to adopting the strongest facets from each method, it was also designed to be scalable and manageable from an enterprise SCM point of view. Some purists may argue that technology can’t/shouldn’t be used to manage agile development; I believe it’s essential.

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