Put it to the Test: Using Lightweight Experiments to Improve Team Processes

Level: Practicing

Experimentation is one way to gain insight into how processes perform for a team, but teams rarely do experiments, fearing such educational excursions will incur extra costs and cause schedule overruns. When facing a stalemate concerning pair programming, one team performed a lightweight experiment evaluating pair programming and programming alone with inspection. Through the experiment, the team learned that pair programming was faster than programming alone, required less effort, and had more predictable quality. Lightweight experimentation is easy, cost effective, and fun.

Process/Mechanics

A brief presentation followed by discussion.

Learning outcomes
  • How to frame experiments using the scientific method
  • Ways of incorporating data collection that don’t sacrifice agility
  • Knowledge (in the form of lessons learned) to help kick start other teams who would like to use lightweight experiments to better understand how agile techniques are actually working for them
  • Specific examples from my experience
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