I have been told unofficially that my submission for a session on managing large product backlogs at Agile 2009 has not been accepted. That is a bit of a shame. The topic seems to resonate with many teams that have been successfully doing Agile for a number of years.
However, I am not too downcast because I have also heard a rumor that two sessions on ‘modeling in color’ (or ‘modelling in colour’ as we call it in the UK) have been accepted. Given the choice, I probably would have chosen a ‘modeling in color’ session over a backlog management session too. Much more fun. In fact, I may end up co-presenting one of them if David Anderson gets his way.
For those that have not met it before, ‘modeling in color’ is an object modeling technique developed by Peter Coad in the late 1990’s. It involves categorizing classes representing problem domain concepts into one of four ‘archetypes’ and employing proven patterns of these class archetypes to rapidly construct object models of the problem domain.
Talking about object modeling in an Agile context is often contentious. For many Agilists it conjures up memories of elitist analyst/designers wasting months creating incomprehensible diagrams in purpose-built modeling tools and then throwing the so-called models and next-to-useless generated skeleton source code over the wall to developers who generally ignored it – the antithesis of Agile in many peoples’ eyes.
Although, ‘modeling in color’ models can be constructed in UML modeling tools like Borland Together, the favorite ‘modeling in color’ tool is a packet of four-colored sticky notes, and the recommended means of constructing a ‘modeling in color’ model is in cross-functional, collaborative sessions.
Before I get into too much trouble with the Borland Together team, I must point out that Borland Togetheris my 'very favoritest' software tool for object modeling and one of the main reasons I joined Borland. I especially love its LiveSource technology that I believe makes it one of the best modeling tools on the market for Agile teams.
If you cannot wait until Agile 2009 to find out more about modeling in color there are some old introductory notes written by yours truly hanging around odd places on the net such as:
There is also a book by Peter Coad on the subject, Java Modeling in Color with UML. Don’t be put off by the title. There is very little about Java in the book and only a very small subset of UML is used. However, the writing style is a little unusual so worth flicking through chapter one available here to see if you like it before spending hard-earned cash on it.