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Agile Australia 2011 Series - Agile Repository

Creating an agile repository is pretty cheap and reasonably easy. This is not for managing your individual project, rather it's purpose is for communicating ‘The Topic of Agile in General'.

Why should you have an repository for agile Information as part of your Agile Transformation? I think a killer reason to have an agile repository is to refute any accusations you may attract that Agile means ‘no documentation’. This is a very common criticism leveled at Agile Methodologies and is simply not fact. Having a response to this with a simple statement “We have documentation! We have a repository!” will put paid to that distracting blocker.

We got this started up pretty early on our agile journey and created an outline of topics we wanted in it. The high level topics on our agile repository are principles and practices. We prioritise them against what we believe are MUSTs SHOULDs or COULDs of our process. i.e. we give an indication of what we MUST do on agile projects as oppose to things we would like to try. In this way we can demonstrate we have a documented process for our Agile projects. A beautiful side effect of prioritising is you can chose to create content in priority order. You can write up your ‘MUST’ content first.

It’s contained in a wiki which makes it very easy to start and conducive to getting people (hopefully friends in your Agile Interest Group) to hop on and create content for it. We use T-wiki – it’s open source, you just need to befriend a technical person to set it up for you, you can make it part of your ‘production stack’ and get it backed up and so on.

It’s an excellent tool for starting your agile transformation. You can use it for educating people, or shutting down unconstructive conversations. It will save you handover time when new people join your agile department.

At the stage we are at now, it’s really not something we rely on heavily, but in the early days when we were trying to win the hearts and minds, and spread the word we relied on it quite a bit. I don’t believe many bureaucrats took the time to navigate all the pages and learn all about Agile, but the fact that it existed seemed enough to satisfy them.

It serves a good purpose as a communication tool, but generally I find it’s more for people outside the project than inside. Projects build up their own collection of artifacts that are important enablers to achieving their

work. An Agile repository can unify people across many projects on the topic of how we work.


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