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-- Agile Tip #3: Using a Wiki (http://forums.objectsbydesign.com/showthread.php?threadid=1353)

Posted by SZ on 08-30-2005 04:29 AM:

Agile Tip #3: Using a Wiki

Agile development requires rapid, collaborative development.

We've found that one of the most effective mediums of communication for collaborative designs is the wiki.

A history of the wiki can be found at Ward Cunningham's site.

The most powerful example of the wiki's potential is Wikipedia, the largest online encyclopedia in the world.

A wiki allows users to rapidly create web pages using a simple editing notation, which is far easier to use than native HTML. The web pages may be hyperlinked and images may be embedded in pages. The wiki pages are stored in a database such as MySQL, allowing easy backup and maintenance.

We collect requirements, analyze data flows, make lists of refactorings, create database modeling designs, and analyze performance problems all using a wiki. In fact a wiki page is the first artifact created for any new development.

When combined with NetMeetings , wikis become even more powerful, allowing a group of people to jointly edit any of the above artifacts. Business owners love this combination because it allows them participate in the development process at a level in which they can contribute.

Posted by euluis on 08-30-2005 08:53 AM:

At my department (telco management software systems development) we started using an internal wiki some months ago, after a trial in one big project during one year. I've seen it being very productive in some projects (like in the original trial project) while in others it isn't, due to lack of participation of developers.

The main problem is that some sub-cultures consider anything other than code and human driven testing being wasted time and sign of under allocation of human resources... You also must have hard-writing sharing spirit. So, if a developer doesn't write commit (or check in) comments he probably won't contribute to the wiki.

As with many other things, a wiki is a tool, but, you must address first - or in parallel - the "being agile" and human training / convincing part of the equation first...

That said, in all the projects I'm involved since we setup a wiki infrastructure (based on tikiwiki), none lacks a wiki page! I work it out and cross my fingers waiting for others to find it useful and start contributing.

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