Post-it notes and planning tools
As other projects have been relatively quiet, a lot of my effort from 9-5 over this last week has been on XP StoryStudio - an XP planning tool that we've been developing at work, and should be open-sourcing shortly. It's the second version of the tool, with the first already used internally. So, this version's nearing completion - I've been adding a few reporting statistics such as story-point burndown rate, making it know when stories and iterations should be in-progress/complete based on the tasks within them, etc. I've got through about 13 stories this week along the lines of "As a developer, I'd like a story to be set to be in progress when I mark a task within it as in progress".
Given that these are standard stories and that the product is nearly finished, you'd think that I'd be eating my own dog-food and using XPSS v2, right? Well, no. Not even v1, for that matter. I've got a whiteboard with post-it notes for the stories on it. <Looks embarassed> I didn't realise the irony of this until Friday afternoon.
There are two ways to look at this situation: the first is that StoryStudio isn't as great as we thought. I think everyone in the office is in agreement that it's almost a necessity to use it to get meaningful information about how projects are progressing, especially now this version supports multiple projects running at once. That leaves the second option; that rather than simply thinking we're being a proper Agile team, going through the motions, "the simplest thing that can possibly work" is alive and kicking in the team; there was no overhead where it wasn't needed.
That's the moral of the story: Although it's a good starting point, following books and the like on Agile development isn't truly getting it - methodologies are, by nature, generalisations, and generalisations can always be tailored to be more appropriate to specific cases.