Sunday, March 19, 2006

Employees at regular companies do XP?

Do employees at companies other than software companies get to use XP? Agile? Similar?

Where I work, one group has been brave enough to transition to an XP programming style. Their use includes stories, pair programming, stand-up meetings, and other techiques. This particular team programs primarily in a .Net environment, focussing on ASP and C#.

All this said, we don't develop software as an external product. All software design is done for internal use, for such things as orders, contracts, invoicing, inventory control and product alottment. So far only this one group has been able to make the transition to XP though. I'm wondering if that's all that ever will.

Does XP only work with platforms such as .Net or languages such as C and Java? Does it only work well with web based applications, or can it be applied equally well across invoicing application design and upkeep? Can it be applied in an AS/400 RPG/CL/Java environement?

The idea appears to be meeting with some resistance. Obviously its fairly recent that it's been in vogue, but the benefits seem obvious. So where does the resistance come from?

I think it centers around a few main points:
1) We've always done busines the way we do now
2) Introduction of new tools/methods means a disruption aka introduction of chaos and chaos always seems negative
3) How do we explain/train the users to allow us to work in this new way?

A few of us have formed a team to address some of these issues. However, the resistance is high, and the odds seem stacked the other way.

I'll be blogging here and on the Software Developer's blog at work as we make progress or backstep, but in the mean time, if you are reading this and have any ideas, toss them my way please.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

XP was originally developed for an IT project (as opposed to a software-as-product project). In fact, one of XP's extremism concerns what is called "voice of the customer" by Six Sigma people. XP's "on-site customer" is easily reachable and always available for informal Q&A as well as acceptance test refinement. This is hard to manage when you have many customers distributed around the world! The obvious solutions to this problem are variations on the idea of a "proxy customer."

So, in answer to your question: yes, XP can be (and is) used on internal projects.