Autumn of Agile: Iteration 0 Part A Screencast is Available

Effective immediately the next installment of the Autumn Of Agile screencast series is now available for download directly from the site.

In this installment we start to dig into the requirements for our project, flesh out the context for our solution and try to frame our approach in terms of the business problems it will solve and the business value that it will (hopefully) deliver.  We also talk a bit about the relationship between User Stories, Features, and Tasks and learn some techniques common to organizing our requirements in preparation for actual work-item planning.

We also use Freemind to brainstorm and organize our thoughts about requirements and then take a look at how we convert each of these into User Stories and then enter these into TargetProcess, our Agile project management and planning tool of choice.

What’s Iteration 0?????

This installment is tagged as Iteration 0 because it comes before we actually start the coding effort on our project.  Iteration 0 is a common way in Agile planning to ensure that much of the groundwork is properly laid before our project gets started (or more accurately, before the coding on our project gets started).  Its numbered zero because it precedes any of the ‘real’ iterations in our planning and is typically used to setup the development environment and necessary infrastructure, form the team, and organize a decent understanding of the problem domain and the solution requirements.

What’s Part A?????

This installment is also tagged as Part A because I’m imagining that each Iteration is going to be 2-weeks in length with one screencast per week (making for a screencast at the mid-point of each iteration and then another at the conclusion of each iteration).  The installment at the mid-point will be Part A and the complementary one at each iteration’s-end will be Part B.

In a real project, I personally prefer to shoot for a one-week iteration schedule, but since I cannot work on this project full-time each week (and in fact am the only one on the team and working entirely in my spare time), a one-week iteration is just too short a time to produce any actual useful work and so I’m going to plan around a 2-week iteration.  We’ll have to all see how that goes. smile_sarcastic

For the record, IMHO a 1-week iteration plan is something that only an experienced Agile team should ever try to to execute; for the newbie Agilists a 1-week iteration schedule is just too aggressive and leads to continuous panic rather than continuous effective effort in my experience.  I’m shooting for a 2-week iteration myself purely because of my level of committment/free time.

As always, comments, feedback, (constructive) criticism are all appreciated~!