Best Practices are the Worst: How to Solve the Right Problem the Right Way

Best 230 November 7, 2017 10:00 am - 11:00 am

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Phil Ledgerwood

UpdateBest Practices are the Worst  slides from Phil’s presentation are available!

There are a lot of agile “best practices” out there, but did you know that not all of them are necessary for your organization? Some may even be hurting you. In this session, we will learn how to discover your organization’s specific pain points and how to choose a practice to solve them.

100% test coverage. TDD. User stories. Standups. Retrospectives. Relative sizing. Story mapping. Paired programming.

The agile world is full of best practices and many books and blogs urging you to do them all and do them right.

It turns out, however, that every organization is different. How can the exact same set of practices apply equally well everywhere? The answer is simple: they can’t. In fact, adopting some practices without a specific need for them can actually make you much less agile than before.

Truly Lean and Agile organizations need to put down their copy of The Magic Agile Recipe Book and regain their powers of observation, analysis, strategy, and good judgement to craft a custom plan for their organization. But how do you go about doing something like that? That’s what we’ll talk about.

What You’ll Learn

  • The perils of doing things just because someone with a blog told you to
  • How very good agile practices almost destroyed an entire product line
  • How to discover the actual problems your software development efforts are having
  • How to prioritize your improvements
  • How to select the best practices for your actual problems, not the practices someone says you ought to have
  • How to make sure you’re solving the right things

What You Won’t Learn

  • Whether Scrum or Kanban is better
  • The Top Five Things Every Software Developer Should Be Doing Now (#3 Will SHOCK You)
  • Which agile authors you should listen to, which ones you shouldn’t, and which ones will kick you out of their LinkedIn group if you accidentally date their daughter even if you are a perfect gentleman and everything

Who Needs to Learn This

  • Anyone wanting to start a Lean or Agile initiative and doesn’t know how to get started
  • Anyone who has ever said, “It takes an hour just to update all our automated tests. Do we really need all of these?”
  • Anyone who has trouble getting buy-in for their suggestions for improvement
  • Anyone who has had an “agile transformation” go sideways despite apparently doing the right things