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

Round 8
Software progress

Howard: We are almost ready for round 8. Round 8 will determine which methodology best supports Agile Principle 8, Software progress:

    Working software is the primary measure of progress.

Don: Peter has Freedom's coach on the mike again. Let's switch over to hear what he has to say.

Freedom Coach: This principle is a backlash against document driven methodologies, which have had their share of problems in the past. While Freedom concurs that working code is a better measure of progress, we would also like to point out that this principle fails to take certain realities into account. Freedom considers producing code without accompanying requirements, designs, test cases, and user manuals to be a sign of lack of appropriate progress, and even a project out of control. Thus, this is another poorly framed Agile Principle. For the record, we suggest it be changed to state

    Working software, with accompanying customer-approved
    requirements, designs, tests, and user documentation,
    is the primary measure of progress.

That being said, Freedom will still win this slugout in spite of the dubious wording of this and other Agile Principles.

Peter: Ok, coach. Back to you, Don.

Don: The Freedom team clearly thinks the Agile deck is stacked against them. Given that, and their being down 4-2 this late in the match, it's pretty bold of him to think that Freedom can still pull this out.

Howard: It's not over until it's over, Don. The contenders are back in the ring. Round 8 has started.

Don: They are both coming out swinging. Freedom is throwing its "Process Metric Checklists" punch again.

Howard: XP is countering with "Project Velocity". Don, can you explain Project Velocity?

Don: Sure, Howard. Project Velocity is sum of the time estimates for all the User Stories to be implemented in a given XP iteration. It's the estimated time to implement the code for an iteration, which is a collection of User Stories.

Howard: And we have seen that Freedom checklists are the actual start and completion dates of various work products including, but not limited to, code.

Don: Right, Howard. And both sides are scoring with these punches, because they both include code as a measure of progress.

Howard: One difference, Don. Freedom's checklists measure actual time to implement, whereas XP's Project Velocity is estimated time. I would think that actual time is a better measure than estimated time. Also, the checklists record metrics for "working" software, whereas Project Velocity is just an estimate for planned software, not working software.

Don: On the other hand, Project Velocity measures only code, so code is the "primary" measure for XP, whereas Freedom measures all work products, so code is not a "primary" measurement for Freedom. I think this is what the Freedom coach was complaining about just before the round started. So the word "primary" in the principle could work against Freedom, even though Freedom's measurement approach is more comprehensive and the metrics are more accurate.

Howard: Neither is gaining an edge on the other, Don. Their moves seem to be pretty evenly matched in the ring. Looks like this is going to be a judgment call for the ref.

Don: I agree, Howard. There's the bell ending round 8. XP and Freedom are heading back to their corners to cool down. Looks like the ref is reaching for his Agile Principles book. He knows he's got a tough call.

Howard: I'll bet he rules it a draw, Don.

Don: Here goes. The ref is about to announce his decision.

Ref: Because XP views software as the "primary" measure of progress, round 8 goes to XP.

Howard: Look at Freedom! He's slapping the mat with his towel! Freedom's coach is beating his fists on the wall with an "I knew it!" look on his face. They saw this coming, Don.

Don: I think so, Howard. They obviously feel that Freedom has a better approach to measurement, but they got shafted anyway.

Howard: Tough call. Score is now XP 5, Freedom 2.

Don: XP is grinning like a Cheshire cat.

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