Assess your agile engineering practices

Agile Engineering - Self-AssessmentSome weeks ago I read a slide deck by Jeff Nielsen about “Five Key Numbers to Gauge your Agile Engineering Efforts“. Even though using agile engineering practices is no goal in itself, the practices are usually helpful in reaching the ultimate goal of useful software. That’s why I compiled the five numbers into a single page to print out and let teams self-assess.

Feel free to use the image, e.g. during a retrospective. You could even repeat the assessment a few months later to track improvements 🙂
[This is Activity #35 in Retr-O-Mat]

PS: Thanks to Jeff Nielsen for the data

Software Craftsmanship

A couple of days ago we talked about the Software Craftsmanship movement at work. I thought of the movement as an extension to the agile movement, that goes full circle to agile’s roots in software development, and focuses on practising coding skills.

This is the Software Craftsmanship Manifesto:

As aspiring Software Craftsmen we are raising the bar of professional software development by practicing it and helping others learn the craft. Through this work we have come to value:

Not only working software,
but also well-crafted software
Not only responding to change,
but also steadily adding value
Not only individuals and interactions,
but also a community of professionals
Not only customer collaboration,
but also productive partnerships

That is, in pursuit of the items on the left we have found the items on the right to be indispensable.


Some colleagues were irritated that it’s called “craftsmanship”, after all they spent years at university becoming software engineers. But today (the first day of ALE 2011) it made perfect sense, when Markus Gärtner explained the second important aspect of Software Craftsmanship: How new developers are taught and mentored – The ideas include apprenticeship and traveling the world afterwards, the same way journeymen to do, learning from different masters of the craft in each location. There’s even a map showing where software journeymen and -women are welcome.

Thanks, Markus, for a very interesting talk!