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"Freedom" Service-Oriented Methodology
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The First Agile Slugout:
eXtreme Programming versus Freedom

Round 6
Frequent releases

Howard: Ok, we're ready to start round 6. Round 6 will be decided by best support for Agile Principle 6, Frequent releases:

    Deliver working software frequently, from a
    couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
    preference to the shorter time scale.

Don: And there they go! Freedom is getting in first this time. He knows he's behind, and is trying to take the initiative to catch up. He's letting XP have it with Freedom's "Prioritization of Requirements" punch. Direct hit to XP's midsection.

Howard: XP recovered quickly, and is coming right back with "Iteration Planning" punches. They're connecting on Freedom. XP just drew some blood.

Don: Freedom's connecting, too. XP is bleeding. Well, we promised you a slugout, and now it looks like we've got one! Freedom is really going after XP. XP is backing up, trying to get some room.

Howard: Now XP is starting to mix it up with "Make Frequent Small Releases". These are connecting, too. Now Freedom is starting to back up.

Don: Freedom's "Prioritization of requirements" can handle short or long release periods, depending on what the customer wants. So Freedom is still holding his own.

Howard: But XP's "frequent small releases" addresses the Agile Principle more explicitly, Don. That may not make any difference, though. If you meet the principle, you meet the principle, and both of them are able to do it. Looks like a bloody standoff to me.

Don: Finally, there's the bell. Round 6 is over, and both of these pugnacious pugilists are headed back to their corners to catch their breath.

Howard: The ref is ready to announce the call.

Ref: Round 6 to XP due to "Make frequent small releases" more directly addressing the "Frequent releases" principle.

Don: Ouch! That really hurts Freedom.

Howard: You got that right, Don. Score is now XP 4, Freedom 1.

Don: Look over at ringside. Freedom's coach is talking to Peter. We're switching over to pick up on it...

Freedom Coach: ....principle assumes a priori that all customers want and need frequent releases. This is a false assumption. For example, government agencies which operate under complex and rigid contracting rules may not be able to accept software developed using a frequent release model. Even if this is not in the customer's best interest, these customers are nonetheless bound to contracting laws. Until such time as the law grants them the flexibility of conforming to Agile, Agile must adapt to these customers. Freedom's flexibility with respect to life cycle model and long or short release schedules better meets the underlying goal of this principle, which is to meet actual customer release needs. This is yet another poorly stated Agile Principle. Freedom therefore files a formal protest on the "Frequent releases" principle, and on the ruling for round 6!

Howard: Is he ticked, or what!

Don: He made a good point, though, Howard. Some of the Agile Principles do seem a bit presumptuous with regard to customer needs. Methodologies that can meet a wide variety of customer needs appear inferior under the Principles to less flexible methodologies that are specific to the assumptions of the Agile Principles.

Howard: Be that as it may, Don, this bout is head-to-head based on the current Agile Principles. Those are the rules, and the ref has made it clear he's not changing them. Only the Agile community can change them.

Don: I agree, Howard, but it sure is making things bleak for Freedom.

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