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agile development: the charrette protocol

The Charrette Protocol

Here’s the Charrette Protocol, adapted for software development,

  1. A developer or team (i.e., the requester) calls for a charrette whenever it is stuck or when they are working on some particularly tricky code or design.

  2. A team of advisors designated by the requestor joins the charrette.

  3. A moderator/facilitator is designated from the joint team to observe the charrette, ask questions along the way and keeps track of any action items.

  4. The requester presents the “work in progress” while the advisors listen.

  5. The requester states what it needs or wants from the charrette, thereby accepting the responsibility of focusing the discussion. This can take the form of a specific request or it can be as generic as “How can we make this better?” or “What should we do next?”

  6. The advisors then discuss while the requester listens and takes notes. There are no hard and fast rules here. Occasionally (but not usually) the requester joins in the discussion process. The emphasis is on improving the work, which now belongs to the entire group. The atmosphere is one of “we’re in this together to make a good thing even better.”

  7. When the requester gets what it needs from the advisors, he/she/they stop the process, briefly summarize what was gained, thank the advisors and moderator and return to the drawing board.

(thanks Scott)

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