Invisible Work

Agile practices such as test driven or test first development, continuous integration, refactoring and automated builds are generally invisible to the customer. Work on these doesn’t deliver any features or, it first seems, value. But these are essential to the longer-term quality of the product, the ability to frequently deliver working increments, etc. Activities like integration have to happen at some stage – taking this pain early in the project gives much better predictability for the remaining deliverables. Customers need to be educated up-front about the benefits of these practices – trying to ‘hide’ them, as I’ve seen teams do, only leads to mistrust.