We are nearing the end of the season on the Agile Manifesto and more.  However, we have several agile development patterns left to consider before wrapping this up.  The themes of teamwork, communication, and satisfying the customer continue to pop up as part of this series of patterns.


Agile assumes that things will happen that require us to change our approach.  These challenges may be new features that are critical, bugs, or highly underestimated tasks.  We all have seen these sorts of obstacles that threaten to derail our best-laid plans.  The swarm pattern is one way to handle such issues.  We use this pattern to assign all resources to a single item or task with the goal of “knocking it out” and clearing the way for overall progress.  We use this pattern when we see an obstacle causing continued damage or delay to our plans as long as it remains.  Think of this as removing the highest pain-point first so other needs can be met.

Test-Driven Development

Testing has traditionally been done after the implementation.  That is not a requirement.  We can create tests that need to be passed as part of a successful implementation.  Then the implementation is done with the tests as a goal.  We see this in education when teachers “teach to the test” instead of a more comprehensive educational approach.  In this case, we also can free up test resources to define tests throughout the sprint and avoid a flurry of testing at the end of the period.  We can even set up tests via TDD to deploy features as they are implemented because the testing is already in place and run.

Pivot, Co-Location, Time-Boxing, and Refinement

The are several terms and concepts that can be seen as agile development patterns even though they are also traits identified.  We see this in patterns such as pivot or time-boxing.  These are methods for implementing Agile that can easily be overlooked as a pattern.  They are not buzzwords and are instead well-defined methods for addressing agile principles.  We want to communicate, set expectations, and get better as we advance through sprints.

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Challenge of The Week: How well do you implement these patterns?

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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