Home > Articles > Programming

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Trusting Your Team

XP is not a set of dry documents or dogma, but a living thing. In software development, one success factor that stands out is that the people on the project can make the difference between success or failure, the victory parade or ignominy. The way you view people or, more specifically, your people will directly affect the way you will manage or lead them. If your perception is that your people are basically lazy or untrustworthy, this will drive you to manage and control them. That control could take the form of detailed prescriptive processes that are dictated from on high. Rigorous methodologies use this tactic.

Clearly, XP doesn't hold the view that people are resources that can be switched in and out at will by project managers. Managing a project by the numbers is attractive, but unrealistic at the least. It's your people then, not a best practice, tool, or process that create success. People are still required to implement even the perfect methodology. The methodology alone cannot be a substitute for skill or attitude.

A better approach is to trust your team and, where necessary, provide checklists to prompt their memory about process or procedure. Your colleagues are highly skilled individuals who will flourish with freedom not petty restraint.

The complaint that XP projects don't have enough documentation might be true if you believe that the tacit knowledge held within the team can be captured on paper. XP makes no pretense on this and instead encourages the team to jot down the "memory joggers" in simple tools such as Wiki Wiki. XP fits a recent trend away from the more is better, to simple, clear tools. In his book Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, Faster by Bill Jensen, the author argues that simplicity is power not information. Businesses are seeking clarity of vision and direction; this is where XP stands out as a great enabling approach.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account