Book Review - Crystal Clear : A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams
While I like the general concepts behind agile development methodologies, sometimes they seem to be focused on speed with a disregard for any documentation. Alistair Cockburn has an agile methodology that appears more palatable in today's environments... Crystal Clear : A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams.
Contents: Explained (View from the Outside); Applied (The Seven Properties); In Practice (Strategies and Techniques); Explored (The Process); Examined (The Work Products); Misunderstood (Common Mistakes); Questioned (Frequently Asked); Tested (A Case Study); Distilled (The Short Version); References; Index
The tendency to want to compare Crystal Clear (CC) to XP is something that can't be ignored. In fact, Cockburn addresses this in the Questioned section. He sums it up by saying that XP is stricter in several ways and more loose in a few. XP wants shorter iterations, CC can be longer. XP calls for pair programming, CC permits it. XP requires a customer to be an active member of the team, CC wants easy access to one. XP requires no documentation, CC does. It's probably that last point that makes CC an easier sell in a business environment. Some methodologies are documentation-heavy (like RUP) and some are documentation-absent (like XP). CC strikes a balance between documenting what needs to be known and remembered by the group, without having multiple binders of paper as a "product" to explain every last iota of code. While XP is the methodology that has all the mindshare these days, I think I feel more comfortable as a developer using something like CC.
If you're looking to slim down your development methodology or add some structure to a seemingly ad-hoc XP methodology, this book might be what you're looking for...