Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Page of History: 1975 "Iterative Enhancements"

The dawn of Agile and Iterative Development comes in the 90s, and the "end of the beginning" was the 2001 Agile Manifesto. Anyway, as Kent Beck has recognized, his generation has, in fact, "rediscovered" some principles and practices that have been use by their predecessors.    

Alistair Cockburn has recently bring back in attention (tweet) a page of history for software development, the 1975 description explicit of Iterative Development: 

Iterative Enhancements: A Practical Technique for Software Development, by Victor R. Basili and Albert J. Turner  (IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Vol. SE-1, No. 4, December 1975)  

More, you can find here other "Agile" practices and principles: 
  • "Refactoring" guidelines: redesign approach similar with XP - Extreme Programming
  • "Active Stakeholder Participation": user reaction always required for feedback - similar with  Disciplined Agile "Active Stakeholder Participation"
  • "Inspect and Adapt" - an review result-goals approach similar with Scrum Principle 
  • Context count and tailor process to context principle, similar with Disciplined Agile approach
  • "Proven Architecture Milestone" - Start with an initial skeletal sub-problem, that contains "key aspects of the problem" , "...whose implementation would make a usable and useful product available for the user". This approach is very similar with the en-to-end skeleton from the Discipline Agile "Proven Architecture Milestone".  ... and more: use of this milestone & the iterative approach to make progress toward a "Consumable Solution" and clearly suggest a "Risk-Value Lifecycle", such in Discipline Agile. It is interesting that the author clearly start the description of the method with this part. In my understanding, their approach is somewhere in the middle between "Proven Architecture Milestone" and "Do it twice" advice of Winston Royce from 1970, but applied in an iterative context.
Important: this 1975 paper was a report of their concrete work and experience with development of production compiler for SIMPL-T language.



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