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The Art of Agile Development

Cover of The Art of Agile Development by James Shore... Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.



Whole Team

We communicate necessary information effectively.

The word documentation is full of meaning. It can mean written instructions for end-users, or detailed specifications, or an explanation of APIs and their use. Still, these are all forms of communication—that’s the commonality.

Communication happens all the time in a project. Sometimes it helps you get your work done; you ask a specific question, get a specific answer, and use that to solve a specific problem. This is the purpose of work-in-progress documentation, such as requirements documents and design documents.

Other communication provides business value, as with product documentation, such as user manuals and API documentation. A third type—handoff documentation—supports the long-term viability of the project by ensuring that important information is communicated to future workers.

Work-In-Progress Documentation

In XP, the whole team sits together to promote the first type of communication. Close contact with domain experts and the use of ubiquitous language create a powerful oral tradition that transmits information when necessary. There’s no substitute for face-to-face communication. Even a phone call loses important nuances in conversation.

XP teams also use test-driven development to create a comprehensive test suite. When done well, this captures and communicates details about implementation decisions as unambiguous, executable design specifications that are readable, runnable, and modifiable by other ...

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