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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Extreme Hour

Cockburn writes
More recently, Peter Merel invented a one-hour process miniature for Extreme Programming, giving it the nickname Extreme Hour. The purpose of the Extreme Hour is to give people a visceral encounter with XP so that they can discuss its concepts from a base of almost-real experience.

In the Extreme Hour, some people are designated "customers." Within the first 10 minutes of the hour, they present their requests with developers and work through the XP planning session.

In the next 20 minutes, the developers sketch and test their design on overhead transparencies. The total length of time for the first iteration is 30 minutes.

In the next 30 minutes, the entire cycle is repeated so that two cycles of XP are experienced in just 60 minutes.

Usually, the hosts of the Extreme Hour choose a fun assignment, such as designing a fish-catching device that keeps the fish alive until delivering them to the cooking area at the end of the day and also keeps the beer cold during the day. (Yes, they do have to cut scope during the iterations!)

This sounds awesome. I wish we had done an extreme hour on my team before we started XP. I wonder if I could convince people to do one now.

There are so many different pieces to XP. It is hard to see how they fit together by reading a book. I think the Extreme Hour could show people how each part of the process is important without making them invest more than an hour.

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