Re: Agile Practices [was The Red Mercedes]
From: Dane Laverty (
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 08:13:31 -0800 (PST)
I think you're right on all counts. The key is in the closing line of the

"That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the
items on the left more."

Of course processes, contracts, and plans are important. None of the
comparisons is an either/or situation. As you point out, you can having
both working software *and* comprehensive documentation, as long as you
have the time and resources for it. The way I understand the manifesto is
that, in a situation where you lack the resources to accomplish both the
left-hand column and the right-hand column targets, it's better to lean in
the direction of the left-hand column ones.


On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 4:06 AM, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> 

> At age 67, I probably should know better, but what the hell, time hangs
> heavy on my hands, and I will respond to this philosophical discourse.
> On Nov 6, 2011, at 2:17 PM, Dane Laverty wrote:
> >
> > Let me respond first to your question about Agile (I'll come back to the
> > rest in a separate email). Here's the "Agile Software Developement
> > Manifesto". Like any declaration, it's more about ideals than practices,
> > but I think it's a useful starting point:
> >
> > *Manifesto for Agile Software Development*
> >
> > We are uncovering better ways of developing
> > software by doing it and helping others do it.
> > Through this work we have come to value:
> >
> > *Individuals and interactions* over processes and tools
> How are interactions different from processes?  Are interactions
> improvised according the expediency of the moment, while processes are
> planned in advance?  What's at stake here?
> > *Working software* over comprehensive documentation
> Is this an either/or?  Can I not have both?
> > *Customer collaboration* over contract negotiation
> As a practicing architect, I have concluded that the whole point of
> contract negotiations is to clarify a shared understanding of rights,
> responsibilities, and mutual expectations.  I value this.  But I agree in
> part:  If the job is going well, possibly thanks to good "customer
> collaboration", then the contract stays in the drawer.  Only if the job
> runs off the rails then does everyone pull out the contract and scrutinize
> the fine print.  God save us all if there is no fine print to scrutinize.
> > *Responding to change* over following a plan
> Maybe. I agree that plans need to be adapted to the reality of what's
> happening, really.   But I find this particular false dichotomy is trotted
> out most often to suppress any effort to make a plan.  I'm not with you
> here.
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