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June 29, 2006

Is using Agile a sackable offense in your office?

Most organizational office policies seem quite sensible in isolation, but it's amazing how they can be used for evil instead of goodness when it comes to some fairly well-accepted development practices... at least in some circles.

Not surprisingly, the larger the bureaucracy, the more intractable the rules. For example, these are a couple of ones I've come across on client sites over the last few years:

  • Occupational Health & safety (OHS) rules stating people must be seated no closer than 1.5 metres. Hmmmm, sounds like one hell of a large monitor would be needed to facilitate pairing in this sort of environment

  • Every workstation must have a unique domain logon belonging to it's user and the machine must be locked when no-one is sitting at the console. Again - sounds reasonable, but when you want to have a local Continuous Integration box running in the development area so people can see what Cruise Control is up to, then things become difficult. Moveover, every domain logon must map to an employee, which is again problemmatic - assuming there isn't a Mr C. Control working within the organization at that present time

  • Revealing your machine login is sackable offense. My personal favourite and almost impossible to comply with should pairing be a desirable activity on your development team.

Practically, these rules are pretty much ignored most of the time, but could you blame a stickler for these policies to effectively veto the introduction of these practices in order to toe the company line?

Posted by Andy Marks at June 29, 2006 08:34 AM


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