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Discussion on: Are Amazon and Google at odds with Agile?

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Matt Cobley

This is a mis-reading of what the agile manifesto is for and the behaviours it's designed to encourage. It doesn't say "don't document anything", it just states a preference where you have to make a choice. It's better to build something and get user feedback than it is to spend months building AND thoroughly documenting something only to find that you have to change it wholesale. You should still document things, but at the right time so that you don't waste effort. Agile dev is all about de-risking and being more efficient in the work that you do so that it better aligns with what the customer actually wants. Reading it as "don't bother doing documentation" is a mistake that a lot of people seem to make, in a similar way to Agile being some sort of black cheque for the user to keep demanding changes ad-infinitum (it's not).

What you alluded to in terms of efficency is absolutely right - it's more efficient to write something down once and refer people to it than to explain the same thing to multiple people from scratch. Rather than sending out an email or chat message, always think "could this be a wiki page?" and favour doing that and sharing a link over emails/chat where the info isn't necessarily saved for future reference.