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Agile In a Flash

by Mike Bria on Jul 01, 2009 |

Many people playfully credit the 3x5 index card as the "agilist's badge". In many ways though this is not an inaccurate or inappropriate; going through a stack of index cards is a often real hallmark of many agile activities. But what about using index cards to learn and remember agile? With their Agile In a Flash project, Tim Ottinger and Jeff Langr want to help people do just that.

In the introductory post to their Agile In a Flash blog, which now catalogs over 60 agile "flash cards", Tim Ottinger and Jeff Langr explain Agile In a Flash like this:

There are lots of elements in agile to learn and remember. Uncle Bob defines three laws for TDD. Kent Beck devised the four rules of simple design. The agile manifesto defines four values. And so on. We found at least a full deck's worth of such lists, and have started capturing and using these lists to prod ourselves when our memories fail. The goal of our Agile In a Flash project is to produce a web resource, a book, and a replenish-able index card deck, all to use as tools in your day-to-day application of agile.

For background, early posts recount Tim then Jeff's experiences with and reasons for affinity for using index cards to capture information in their day-to-day activities, and how they've used cards to learn and teach over the years. Another early post describes the Oblique Strategies card decks from the late 1970's, mentioned as another source of inspiration for the Agile In a Flash project.

From there Jeff and Tim rip into a still-ongoing series of posts presenting the cards, one post per card, one card per post. Each post contains an image of the card, a reference to the idea's origin, and an expanded (but still concise) explanation of the cards bullet points. Many posts include not just "the book info", but also helpful commentary from Jeff and Tim's about their experience with the concept.

As of this writing, the series has provided over 60 cards covering topics from all over the agile landscape. In these 60, there are ideas coming from agile in the general sense, from XP, from Lean, from ideas on team dynamics, programming in general, and more.

Whether you're learning about agile, teaching others about it, or even just curious you should set aside some time to check out the Tim and Jeff's Agile In a Flash.

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