My Kingdom for a Rosetta Stone: Documentation in Agile Development

The agile principle working software over comprehensive documentation has sometimes been interpreted to mean that written documentation is not needed or important in software development. I would argue that this principle simply means that documentation is not an end in and of itself – it plays a supporting role in the higher objective of developing and supporting software.

Why is documentation needed then, when is it appropriate, and how much documentation is “too much”?

In this session, I will make a case that Agile invites us to craft a practicable balance between comprehensiveness and minimalism that meets the need of a given audience and supports rather than minimizes other forms of communication. With some tact and planning, agile practitioners can apply simple but effective strategies to gain maximal value from minimal documentation.

This session will cover:
• Determining what is and is not value-added to document
• Strategies for writing effective minimalistic documentation
• The role of code as documentation