A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Agile management promotes a project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability, a set of best practices that allow for rapid delivery of high-quality products, and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals. It is related to extreme documentation and scrum methods.



Adapting to Scrum: Challenges and Strategies  (link broken)   (PDF)

Read about some of the challenges facing technical writers who create product documentation in a Scrum environment, as well as strategies for confronting these challenges.

Sigman, Christine Marini. Intercom (2007). Articles>Project Management>Agile>Scrum


Adjusting to Scrum   (peer-reviewed)

Scrum, the new development methodology in the Agile development family, is fast gaining acceptance in software development. But how can writers, who have little or no experience in any of the incremental development models, adjust to this methodology? And, how does the Documentation Development Life Cycle (DDLC) change in Scrum?

Bidkar, Prasanna. tekom (2011). Articles>Project Management>Agile>Documentation


Adopting User-Centered Design Within An Agile Process: A Conversation   (PDF)

eXtreme Programming and other agile processes provide a middle ground between chaos and over-elaborate processes sometimes referred to as 'death by documentation'. A particular attrtactive aspect of the agile approach for many teams is its willingness to accomodate change no matter how advanced development might be. However, this very flexibility can cause user interface design issues and ensuing usability problems. Adopting a user-centered approach to user interface design can address these issues, as the following simulated conversation between a user-centered design consultant and an XP team leader will explain.

Hudson, William. UIaccess (2002). Articles>User Centered Design>Agile>Project Management


Agile Across the Enterprise

One of the Agile Manifesto’s basic balance equations is valuing working software over comprehensive documentation. This line of the Agile manifesto can be confusing to some supporting roles in an Agile development enterprise. As technical support staff, trainers, and content creators, what are we doing to fit into this Agile methodology, and what’s working well? Let’s explore some old habits that need to die, and some new rituals to fill that space.

Gentle, Anne. Just Write Click (2009). Articles>Collaboration>Agile


Agile Across the Enterprise: Prioritizing Value in Support and Training

I have been a technical writer on Agile development teams, and working in tightly collaborative environments has taught me a lot about adding value in the customer’s perception. I still remember being challenged by Michael Cote when we were at BMC Software. He asked, “Why does it take three days to get a PDF out for review? Why aren’t technical writers using wikis for documentation?” Those questions prompted quite a bit of research that finally resulted in my book, Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation.

Gentle, Anne. Agile Executive, The (2009). Articles>Management>Collaboration>Agile


Agile Development Checklist

The purpose of this article is to define a set of ideal practices for an agile software development project.

McLennan, Liam. Code Project, The (2006). Articles>Project Management>Agile


Agile Development Projects and Usability

Agile methods aim to overcome usability barriers in traditional development, but pose new threats to user experience quality. By modifying Agile approaches, however, many companies have realized the benefits without the pain.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Project Management>Usability>Agile


Agile Documentation (Using Tests as Documentation)  (link broken)   (PDF)

Storytelling can make documentation more exciting for both writers and readers. Stories provide context and people tend to remember them. More all-∆around fun when stories are tests.

Gheorghiu, Grig. Business Information Review. Articles>Documentation>Agile>Testing


Agile Documentation with doctest and epydoc

A Test Map is a list of unit tests associated with a specific function/method under test. It helps you see how that specific function/method is being exercised via unit tests.

Gheorghiu, Grig. Blogspot (2005). Articles>Documentation>Agile


Agile Documentation with uScrum   (PDF)

uScrum (uncertainty Scrum) is an agile process developed by a small team at Altitude Software to manage the process of writing user documentation. uScrum manages uncertainty and the unknown, allowing writers to quickly react to changing conditions. uScrum uses orders of ignorance to understand the difficulty of tasks, allowing the team to effectively prioritize regular work together with difficult creative work.

Baptista, Joaquim. ACM SIGDOC (2008). Articles>Documentation>Agile>Scrum


Review: Agile Documentation: A Pattern Guide to Producing Lightweight Documents for Software Projects  (link broken)

In Agile Documentation, Rüping gets to the heart of the documentation dilemma, offering a two-word solution: minimum necessary.

Davis, Donna L. developer.star (2003). Articles>Reviews>Agile>Documentation


Agile Documentation: Strategies for Agile Software Development

When I initially started work on Agile Modeling (AM) I wanted to focus solely on principles and practices for effective modeling but quickly discovered that this scope was not sufficient, that I also needed to consider the issue of how to be effective at the creation and maintenance of documentation too. Some agile models will 'evolve' into official system documentation, although the vast majority will not, and therefore it is relevant to discuss how to be agile doing so.

Agile Modeling. Articles>Documentation>Agile>Extreme Documentation


Agile for Information Development

Software development methods seem to change more often than the seasons, and just when information development professionals are familiar with one approach a new one comes along. One method that has received wide acceptance and seems to have some staying power, however, is the Agile software development method. As described by the Agile Manifesto (2001), Agile software development is: a group of software development methodologies; based on iterative and incremental development; solutions evolve through collaboration of cross-functional teams.

Clymer, Laura. Indus (2013). Articles>Project Management>Workflow>Agile


Agile Principles Are Changing Everything

There's an irony about agile development. There is no hard evidence that it produces better software, faster. And formal adoption rates, admittedly hard to measure, don't reach the 20 percent mark. Yet the ideas that underpin agile development--defining requirements incrementally, writing software in short stints, seeking customer feedback, testing code as it's written, frequent builds--have caught on like wildfire. They are widely accepted as sound development practices, even among teams that have not formally adopted them.

deJong, Jennifer. Software Development Times (2008). Articles>Collaboration>Agile>Methods


Agile Project Management - Reliable Innovation  (link broken)

This webinar discusses how Agile Project Management (APM) excels on projects in which new, risky technologies are incorporated; requirements are volatile and evolve; time-to-market is critical; and high quality must be maintained.

Highsmith, Jim. Rally Software Development (2005). Presentations>Project Management>Agile


An Agile Review Process for Technical Documentation  (link broken)

Documentation teams need a fast and effective review process to move forward on their projects and deliver quality, timely content. Reviewers, may they be SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) or key organization authorities, are usually extremely busy and have limited time (or interest) to review documentation. Interesting dilemma, no?

Talbot, Fabrice. LiveTechDocs (2008). Articles>Documentation>Agile>Workflow


Agile Technical Writing Basics

Unfortunately, nobody wrote instructions for Agile technical writers, so peculiarities of profession need to be studied out.

Mizinova, Ksenya. Dr. Explain. Articles>Project Management>Agile>Technical Writing


Agile Usability

RITE differs from a “traditional” usability test by emphasizing extremely rapid changes and verification of the effectiveness of these changes. Specifically, practitioners make changes to the UI (prototype or application) as soon as the problem is found and the solution spotted. Changes such renaming buttons, changing the text of menu items often happen before another participant arrives. More complicated, but obvious changes are made as rapidly as possible. This way the change can be tested as quickly as possible.

Levison, Mark. InfoQ (2008). Articles>Usability>Collaboration>Agile


Agile User Experience Projects

Agile projects aren't yet fully user-driven, but new research shows that developers are actually more bullish on key user experience issues than UX people themselves.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2009). Articles>Project Management>User Experience>Agile


Agile Works Best in PHP Projects

Agility includes effective, that is, rapid and adaptive, response to change. This requires effective communication among all of the stakeholders. Stakeholders are those who are going to benefit from the project in some form or another. The key stakeholders of the project include the developers and the users. Leaders of the customer organization, as well as the leaders of the software development organizations, are also among the stakeholders.

Abeysinghe, Samisa. Packt (2007). Articles>Web Design>Agile>PHP


Agile XML Development

Three panellists talk about how they've applied agile development techniques to XML, followed by audience discussion and Q&A: Tony Coates will discuss XML and schema quality assurance using unit test frameworks. David Carver will discuss agile XML schema development. Claudia Lucia Jimenez-Guarin will discuss software construction for evolving systems with incomplete data definition.

Carver, David, Anthony Coates and Claudia Lucía Jimenez-Guarin. XML 2006 (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>Agile


Agile: What is it Anyway?  (link broken)

Agile methodologies have had a lot of press in recent years. To listen to some people, agile methodologies are the answer to all the ailments that have ever plagued software development from the beginning of the computer age. But what are they, really? And do they really deliver on that promise? The answer is: (drumroll, please) it depends.

Little, Karen. BA Collective (2007). Articles>Project Management>Agile>Methods


The Agile/Waterfall Cooperative   (members only)

In this tutorial, attendees will learn to factor their company's business needs into their existing Agile procedures, and management will learn how to begin the investigative work of determining how to streamline these requirements and activities so that they don't hamper the project.

Sliger, Michele. Rally Software Development (2006). Presentations>Project Management>Agile


The Almighty Thud

Why do we bother with models or documentation? They don't execute, and our customers pay us for working code, not pretty pictures. We bother with models to communicate. The idea is that a graphical object model can show how objects fit together more clearly than looking at the source, an interaction diagram can show a collaboration better than figuring out the call path from several class definitions. But so often the design documentation fails in this, and leaves me puzzled on my sofa.

Fowler, Martin. MartinFowler.com (1997). Articles>Documentation>Agile>Extreme Documentation


Applying Agile Methods in Rapidly Changing Environments   (PDF)

The authors (both coming from a heavyweight software development environment) describe their approach to transferring a heavyweight method into a more agile approach. One can argue whether the described result is intermediate or final, the the process described and the choices made are well worth studying.

Kutschera, Peter and Steffen Schafer. Jeckstein.com (2001). Articles>Collaboration>Agile



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