Thursday, October 2, 2008

Don't document more than that you have to ask to understand

Jeff Sutherland writes in his most recent blog entry about Agile Specifications. Interesting stuff!

I have rule of thumb that I use and try to teach everyone, when it comes to documentation: Don't document more than that you have to ask to understand. It is, I think, something to remember when it comes to writing agile specs, user stories, etc. Spending lots of time writing fancy specs and try to catch every little detail is just a waste of time, because I think it causes a false sense of trust in the spec. You won't succeed just because you discribe every little aspect of some feature. What will let you succeed is if the developers manage to understand it well enough to build it. And communication is key here. So don't write fancy specs just for the sake of it. Communicate instead! Ask! But as Jeff describes in his article above, of course you should document enough. We do write specs too (I'll describe our "scoping process" some day). But the above rule of thumb should always be kept in mind...

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