Scrum + Extreme Programming - Extreme Programming

What is Scrum+ Extreme Programming?

One of the earliest agile methodologies which are continuously evolving is Extreme programming. In order to use the best programming practices extreme programming was developed by Kent Beck.

The focus of the current scenario extreme programming is on the best practices prevailing in the industry such as Test Driven Development, Whole Team Approach, Sustainable Pace, etc.

XP – Flexibility as Technique

The flexible nature of extreme programming makes it more popular. Since extreme programming is technique driven than process driven, it goes well with the process-centric approaches. Hence the features of extreme programming can be easily combined with other ideas, wherever,

  • When some of the practices of extreme programming are complimentary in practice.
  • For implementation, extreme programming itself is not suitable.

The practice of extreme programming that is selected need to be implemented to the core otherwise it cannot be said that extreme programming is used.

When complimentary features are used, then mix-and-match is allowed without compromising on the values of the used features.

The popular hybrid which has become popular and is commonly used is Scrum + Extreme Programming hybrid.

Prior to that the basic hybrid Software Development Methodology – Waterfall Model need to be discussed.

Waterfall Model

In Waterfall model, the progress of development is done in phases and a new phase can be started only when the earlier phase is completed.

Waterfall Model

Several organization still use Waterfall model though considered as a traditional methodology. Prior to the start of the development, it the requirements are completely known, it is considered as an established and effective methodology. Training and mentoring is not required as the process is straight forward.

It is understood that every methodology has own merits and demerits and no single methodology stands to be ideal for the situations. Hence the methodology that best suites the context, environment and the interests of the customers is to be selected.

Waterfall methodology is not left without shortcomings such as:

  • It does not suit the environment where the requirements are incomplete or vague.
  • Methodology being in one direction, feedback cannot be taken back in any of the earlier phases and regarding the end product more clarity is obtained.
  • Only on completion of the development, testing is done by the developers who are involved in requirements gathering and development. This leads to high defect rates, high delivered defects which are mostly uncovered by the customers.
  • Till end of development, working product will not be available.
  • The changes and fixes to the requirements cannot be made as it includes incurring of high costs and chances of design breaking are high.

If any such conditions are predicted, then the most suited is the Agile methodologies.

Agile Methodologies

Agile Methodologies advocate −

  • The working product increments are frequently released and thus the feedback is enabled to flow in right time.
  • In order to make everyone responsible and accountable, team-centric approach is used.
  • The planning that focus on the delivery of the customer value, meeting of the customer expectations and return on investment is adopted.
  • In order to ensure that the end product is delivered without any obsolete, the changes are readily accepted at any point of development.

Many Agile methodologies arise, but out of which the more popular widely used methodlogy is Scrum.

Several Agile methodologies came into existence, of which Scrum has become more popular and is being widely used.

How Scrum makes the Difference?

The projects are broken into time-boxed short sprints and released by Scrum. For every scrum, only the required and sufficient functionality is taken that is sufficient enough to deliver a sprint. A working product is released at the end of each sprint.

The iterations are called as sprints and the requirements are called as backlog items. The testing approach adapted is Continuous Testing or test-first approach. The user story is written by the customers, developers and testers together. Thus all the team members will be aware of the behaviour of the product and thus facilitates in acceptance at the beginning.

Scrum Difference

Like any other development methodologies, scrum has its own shortcomings. Some of them are:

  • Flexibility in release schedule is not allowed which hamper the development and testing.
  • The development directions are not provided by scrum.

This leads to combining Scrum with other methodologies that is more development – strategy focused.

Scrum + Extreme Programming Hybrid

By incorporating the complimentary practices of extreme programming, by focusing on the engineering aspects like continuous communication, frequent feedback loops, refactoring, collective ownership, continuous integration, test-driven development, etc, Scrum is used. The focus of the Scrum is on the fixed scope for sprints, burn-down charts, etc.

  • A defined methodology, which is easier to adopt from the project inception is Scrum.
  • The team focuses more on development as extreme programming concentrates more on communication and team cohesion.

Thus, a Scrum + Extreme Programming hybrid is found to be effective.

What are the tools for Scrum + XP Hybrid Projects?

Scrum = Extreme programming hybrid projects use tools such as SpiraTeam and Rapise. Reporting dashboards regarding the quality of the key project and the progress indicators that are consolidated as desired by the Scrum and extreme programming projects is provided by SpiraTeam.

Some of the indicators are −

  • Requirements Test Coverage
  • Task Progress
  • Project Velocity
  • Top Risks and Issues

The test automation solution that integrates fully into the process of development and that can be adapted to any changing needs is Rapise tool. For desktop, web and mobile applications testing, this tool is used. For generating acceptance tests, developers, testers and business users use this tool.

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