Using études to continually improve our development process


March 15, 2011

Agile development is an art. Unless each member on the team has the a-ha moment and actually ‘gets’ the core values of the process - the end result is nothing but a hodge-podge of buggy code delivered after a lot of unnecessary stress.

So how do we tranform into an agile team and then continually propagate the core values of the process - so that it becomes the culture of the organization?

One method that we’ve found quite useful is the concept of études - as described in James Shore book. We’re now trying out the thinking études. Every evening at 6:30PM our team splits up into pairs. Testers pair as well - with programmers.

Each pair picks up a topic from the book that interests them, reads the chapter for about 7 min, discusses (for about 8 min) how different/similar our actual process is wrt to what’s in the chapter. Any 3 pairs then give 5min presentations on what they learnt and any action items they think need to be implemented to make our processes better.

This is Kaizen (a little improvement every day) applied to process.

How do you practice continuous improvement in your company? Any ideas on how we can do better? Don’t be shy - go ahead, comment below.