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Appendix: Primary Practices

The following is a short summary of the primary practices in XP. Practices are not rules to be slavishly followed. They are ideas for improvement. You and your team may revisit a practice many times as you learn. For example, the first time you look at Pair Programming you may decide to just try weekly code reviews. After a while you may try real pairing, but only for a limited time. With more experience you may try remote pairing.

I recommend going through this list and drawing a picture of what each practice brings to mind. If one practice strikes you, try it first. Try it for a few weeks and then evaluate it. Is it something you want to continue? Modify? Drop?

  • Whole Team—the team includes people with all the skills and connections it needs to succeed.
  • Sit Together—the team sits within eye contact of each other.
  • Pair Programming—sit two to a machine so programming becomes a conversation.
  • Informative Workspace—plaster the walls with up-to-date information about the project.
  • Weekly Planning—plan for visible, valuable progress each week.
  • Quarterly Planning—set quarterly themes to be addressed by the weekly iterations.
  • Slack—include some optional items in any schedule.
  • Test-first Programming—code by writing a failing test, then making the system satisfy the test.
  • Incremental Design—invest in the design only what is needed to comfortably support today's stories.
  • Stories—plan and track in increments of business functionality.
  • Ten-minute Build—automatically build and test as much of the system as you can in ten-minutes.
  • Continuous Integration—integrate your changes with the shared code every couple of hours at most.
  • Energized Work—work and live so you can bring energy to your work.
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