AoAD2 Chapter: Ownership (introduction)

This is an excerpt from The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition. Visit the Second Edition home page for additional excerpts and more!

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Top-notch execution lies in getting the details right, and no one understands the details better than the people who actually do the work. [Poppendieck2003]

Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit

Agile teams own their work. They decide for themselves what to work on, how to break it into tasks, and who on the team will do it. This is because of a fundamental Agile principle: the people who are doing the work are the ones who best understand what needs to be done. They’re the ones most qualified to decide the details.

Ownership isn’t just about control, though. It’s also about responsibility. When teams take ownership of their work, they also take responsibility for getting it done.

This chapter has the practices you need to take ownership of your work and successfully get it done:

  • The “Task Planning” practice helps your team break stories into tasks and decide how they’ll get done.

  • The “Capacity” practice ensures your team signs up only for what it can complete.

  • The “Slack” practice improves capacity and allows your team to make reliable short-term commitments.

  • The “Stand-Up Meetings” practice helps team members coordinate their work.

  • The “Informative Workspace” practice surrounds your team with useful information.

  • The “Customer Examples” practice helps your team collaborate with experts.

  • “Done Done” focuses your team on creating software that’s ready to release.

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