Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Agile Documentation

Agile is not against documentation. It is merely lean, in that we don't want to maintain piles of documentation that don't actually help us product value for customers.

We maintain the least non-test, non-code documentation we can afford.

To be minimalist, we recognize that a conversation is better than a whiteboard, a whiteboard a poster is better than a white paper, a white paper is better than a tome -- provided it's enough for us to be able to produce good, working code and collaborate.

Here are all the rules I know about agile documentation:

  1. If the document is contractually required, of course we do it.
  2. If the need is immediate and significant we create a document (UncleBob's law). In other words, we don't build documents in case someone needs them in the future, and we don't draw a document when a conversation or whiteboard will do. 
There might be other rules. To date, I don't know them.