Extreme Programming (XP) at a Glance

Note: This article is updated at Extreme Programming at a Glance.

Extreme Programming (XP) is a lightweight software development methodology based on principles of simplicity, communication, feedback, and courage.   I like to be able to scan methodologies to compare approaches.  To do so, I create a skeleton of the activities, artifacts, principles, and practices.    Here are my notes on XP:


  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Listening
  • Designing


  • Acceptance tests
  • Code
  • Iteration plan
  • Release and iteration plans
  • Stories
  • Story cards
  • Statistics about the number of tests, stories per iteration, etc.
  • Unit tests
  • Working code every iteration

12 Practices
Here's the 12 XP practices:

  • Coding Standards
  • Collective Ownership
  • Continuous Integration
  • On-Site Customer
  • Pair Programming
  • Planning Game
  • Refactoring
  • Short Releases
  • Simple Design
  • Sustainable Pace
  • System Metaphor
  • Test-Driven Development

For a visual of the XP practices, see a picture of the Practices and Main Cycles of XP.

5 Values (Extreme Programming Explained)

  • Communication
  • Courage
  • Feedback
  • Respect
  • Simplicity

The following are phases of an XP project life cycle.

  • Exploration Phase
  • Planning Phase
  • Iteration to Release Phase
  • Productionizing Phase
  • Maintenance Phase

For a visual overview, see Agile Modeling Throughout the XP Lifecycle.

12 Principles (Agile Manifesto)

These are the 12 Agile principles according to the  Agile Manifesto:

  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals.  Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes promote sustainable development.   The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly
4 Values (Agile Manifesto)

These are the four Agile values according to the Agile Manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan
Additional Resources