Thursday, May 20, 2010

Crystal Clear: the book

About five years ago, Alistair Cockburn wrote a book, "Crystal Clear: A human powered methodology for small teams", that is still a pretty good read today for those getting started in agile methods but concerned for the people aspect.  Cockburn is probably one of the foremost thought leaders in the agile community about the ability of developers, testers--indeed, the whole team--to respond predictably and consistently, whether agile or not.

Of course, one of my favorite papers by Cockburn about the vagaries of human performance, and especially when embedded on an agile team, is this one on the non-linear characteristics of people.  I think you'll find this one a good read as well; and some provocative ideas to ponder.

Cockburn has given some serious thought to scaling the methodology.  Agile is best suited for small teams that do not have mission-critical requirements.  "Clear" is his "one small team" method.  Crystal Orange, described in another book, is "Clear" scaled up a bit.

If you're interested in "Clear", here's a nice summary book report by Donna Davis that gives you a pretty good idea of what you are going to find in the book.

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