Levent Gurses has an article, 10 Mistakes in Transitioning to Agile, in the Dec 2006 Dr. Dobbs Journal. He writes about the most common mistakes that companies make when transitioning from “legacy development methodologies” to agile ones. In this series of short articles for the winter holidays, we’re looking at each of the ten mistakes he identified. Enjoy the light reading, and don’t think too much about work.
Mistake 8: Trash All Computer-Based Project Management and UML Tools
In short, this mistake is the mistake of not documenting. Computers make documentation tasks easier. Don’t discard them as “overhead.”
Agile isn’t about no documentation, it is about just-enough documentation. Tools that improve the efficiency of the team should not be discarded. Activity diagrams and other design/architecture/requirements artifacts are valuable. Tracking the changes in these documents is worthwhile.
Keeping track of project progress and how things advance and change over time will be critical in helping spread understanding through the organization. Remember, this is a pilot – its purpose is to learn. Lack of documentation will make it much harder to learn later. It will also make it nearly impossible to compare future projects to this one.