“The first thing is I always challenge people to show me where it’s written down. There’s a lot of, people will say, “We have to do this and we have to do that.” If you’re really pushed back, you’ll find out that there’s actually nowhere where it says you have to do that. That’s just the way they always did.
“That will be the first thing. We just try to demystify all of that.
“I think Agile gets a bad rep that we’re somehow anti-documentation. What we’re “anti” is documentation that has no value. Everybody in state government has a set of notebooks somewhere on their shelf that were generated after months and months of effort and no one has looked at it in over a year. The documentation has no value. It’s just a thing that they did and then it’s gone.
“So, we would say where we are not actually going to use it, let’s not waste time doing it. Let’s build what actually matters. We’re very big sticklers on documenting the code well or documenting how the decisions were made but not a big set of requirements that you have upfront.
“The other thing, and I actually have one sitting here on my shelf, at the time I first came in in this role, I’ve been working in a project that took five years to deliver and it had an 800-page specs and requirements that were done upfront.
“Well, in the course of the time we actually delivered it, the iPhone was invented. Everything changed. All of a sudden, what they wanted on Day 1 is not what they want now. They actually wanted it to run out of the field. All of those requirements were useless because the technology was just changing too quickly.
“When we’re pushing for less documentation, it’s not because we hate documentation. It’s because there’s no value in gathering and documentation right now on what we’re going to do five years from now. Let’s just gather big picture story for where we’re headed. As we get closer and closer to the day we’re delivering, the documentation gets very specific.”
~ Joe Kirk, CIO for the Tennessee Department of Transportation