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04 Jun 2009, 16:13
Sean Dockery (11 posts)

Hi Jared,

I just finished reading your book Ship It! One thing that I was hoping to find in one of the later chapters or in an appendix were examples of The List. I would like to see what you have used in real life. Would be able to provide an example (with anonymized data, of course) here?

You mention, too, that completed items are moved to a new List that remembers what items have been completed, along with some additional data points. Can you provide an example of that completed items List as well? What extra data have you found useful to capture when these items are moved?

One last thing: When changes are made to The List, you refer to making (equivalent to) diary entries about why the change is being made. It does not seem practical to me that these changes would be kept along side the list on the whiteboard for simple reason that there would be insufficient room for the change reason. Do you track these changes in electronic format – in revision control, perhaps? Do you typically use a text file, Wiki, Excel, or database to maintain old copies of The List?


04 Jun 2009, 16:17
Sean Dockery (11 posts)

I should also mentioned that I enjoyed the book very much. :-) Although I have come across much of the same information scattered across a dozen or so books, it is extremely helpful to have all of those practices enumerated in a single book that I can recommend to peers. Great job.

14 Jul 2009, 03:47
Sean Dockery (11 posts)

Hello? Is there anyone out there?

13 Aug 2009, 13:57
Jared Richardson (6 posts)

Hi Sean, Sorry for the slow reply. I’ve been on a bit of a crazy train lately. :)

We didn’t put an example of The List in the book because we didn’t want anyone looking at “The Source” and copying it. I think you’ll do better to look at the ideas, and create your own based on your team, and your situation.

Of course, since then, I’ve learned about the Dreyfus Model of Skills Acquisition (Thanks Andy!), and realized that examples are invaluable when people are just getting started. I don’t have one handy though, and am getting on a plane in a few hours. I’ll see if I can put something together, but it might be a while.

On additional items to save when finishing list items… mainly how long it took to complete something. Developers are very smart and can learn nearly anything, given proper feedback. If we don’t track how long it takes for something to be “done”, how can we understand why our estimates were wrong?

How do I track The List? Whenever possible, I use a whiteboard and a legal pad. The whiteboard is this week’s work. However for distributed teams, I use a Wiki (I love JSPWiki). There’s nothing wrong with a formal tool as long as you can keep this week’s work in front of the team. That’s where the whiteboard shines.

24 Aug 2009, 19:08
Sean Dockery (11 posts)

Is anyone else out there following this practice? Would you be able to provide examples of “The List” that you use?

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