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When Do I Start?

Once you've groomed your developer champions, eased that creased brow on the boss (they get it at last), and selected a project, all that's left is to start.

In the slightly offbeat movie The Mouse That Roared, the hero is flying to the moon. When NASA asks, "When do you start the countdown?" he replies, "Oh, we don't count down; we just go." You can start XP whenever it makes sense. We have successfully started midstream (after requirements gathering). In our case we had classic functional specifications (quite detailed) and we used this to generate user stories. The team asked the customer to verify and adjust the user stories where necessary. Figure 3 shows our user story wall.

Figure 3 XP team room, showing user stories and tasks.

Start small and integrate as many practices as possible. We used iteration meetings to quickly attend to mid-flight adjustments.

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