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8th July: Nancy Van Schooenderwoert - Seven Paradoxes of Agile Software Development

posted 27 May 2009, 16:03 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 12 Jun 2009, 05:42 ]

Agile software development has many very common-sense ideas in it, but if it was all common-sense we'd have been using it long ago. Agile also contains counter-intuitive ideas: paradoxes that make it hard for people accept. For example, the notion that we go fast BECAUSE we take quality to the max is paradoxical for people. They are used to having to trade off speed and quality. On the other hand the idea that those who do the work are best placed to estimate it is seen as perfectly sensible. How can a coherent design emerge if design is done one iteration at a time? Another paradox. But it's easy to accept that when you build a system iteratively, you can learn more quickly from your experiences - that's common sense. We’ll explore the 5 other paradoxes, and you’ll see how a grasp of these helps you to take your agile practices to the next level.


Nancy Van Schooenderwoert does Agile Enterprise coaching – everything from launching new agile technical teams to advising executives on how to take Agile and Lean principles far beyond software development in their drive to deliver more customer value faster. Nancy pioneered agile practices for embedded software development beginning in 1998. Her background in electronics and software development for avionics, factory automation, medical, and defense systems brings a unique perspective to her coaching practice. See for more details (


The subject of this meeting was chosen by a poll from those described in the attached PDF. See for a breakdown of the results.
Neil McLaughlin,
27 May 2009, 16:18
Neil McLaughlin,
9 Jul 2009, 07:44