So what is this all about? No iterations, microreleases, what ever! I have to say I was extremely sceptical at first, but during the last few weeks I have started to change my mind. I’m now at a point where I would very much like to try it. There’s still a few issues I have to think some more about though.
What about the oh so important story discussions?
One of the most important pros with the iteration planning meeting is that the entire team get to start discussing the prioritized stories with the product owner, since this is an important part of making correct estimations. The team gets to start solving the problem and get a common view of upcoming issues and future work. How do you handle this without this meeting? I guess a step in the right direction is to switch pairs extremely often. Many times a day. But will that be enough?
What about retrospectives?
I guess this is a minor issue. Even with no iterations, the retrospectives could be run periodically. Maybe once a month, or once every two weeks. I heard a neat solution the other day: The team had a flip chart page posted on a wall, and when someone had an issue he or she felt needed to be discussed, a note was written and posted on the page. When the page was full, a retrospective was run. Me like.
What about selling the idea?
I can see my current project running iterationless, since they have been running iterations for so long and have a very good pace and a good heart beat for releasing. But I still have trouble seeing a completely new team start running with no iterations from the start. The reason for this is that I feel it would be harder to sell the idea of agile to the team. The idea of short iterations is a very nice and easy to understand selling point for people who are used to the non iterative way of working.
I have tried the idea on my team and the product owner, and they where surprisingly positive. We might try it in the coming months. If so, I will post the result here.