The Mikado Method Book

July 22, 2013

Ellnestam-MikadoMethodFor quite some time now we (Daniel and Ola) have been working on a book together. As you may have guessed it’s about the Mikado Method. Some of you are already familiar with our work through workshops, this blog or maybe the early version of a PDF book which was available as a free download from here.

As of early May 2013 our free PDF transformed to a MEAP.

MEAP stands for Manning Early Access Program which is a way for interested readers to get a preview of an upcoming book via Manning, our publisher.

The paper version and the full book will be available through Manning early 2014 but if you can’t wait (and you shouldn’t), buy your copy today and get access to the MEAP version of ‘The Mikado Method’ here:

The Mikado Method at Manning

From the book, 5.1.3 ‘Large scale improvements’:

When large portions of the code is changed the whole team will have to be engaged, and everyone needs to know the goal to be able to help out and understand. The team also has to communicate outside of its immediate vicinity, especially if the change is based on an external goal.

This is the perfect situation for the Mikado Method.

As the code undergoes these changes work is probably spread out over several days, weeks or months, and can benefit a lot from being carried out by several developers on a team. Putting the Mikado Graph on a whiteboard during this period of change is a great way to communicate that goal, the progress and its current state. External stakeholders, managers and other people with interest in the progress are also more likely to get involved if they can see what is happening.

We just split and moved the Mikado Method code examples and exercises on github.

The new location is a github organization for the Mikado Method:

(Old location:

The examples are now split in separate repositories for better separation of concerns.

The examples are
The example from the book (Chapter 2).
The example from the book, in C#.
Some messy code containing a solar system simulation and an breakout embryo, all in one. We intent to specify some good goals to practice larger refactorings and restructurings.
Another example. We intend to give you some hints on meaningful goals here as well.

The Mikado Method book

August 4, 2010


We moved this page to


We will try to gather mentions of the Mikado Method here. If you know of an article that is not in this list, please let us know and we will update the list. The mentions can be both positive and negative. It is likely that the method works better in some cases and worse in others, so we would like to see that as well.

In the twitter flow you find it here

Speaking schedule

April 6, 2010

Upcoming talks about the Mikado Method:

Øredev in Malmö, Sweden, November 12

Previously, the Mikado Method has been presented at the following places:

Agile2010 in Orlando FL, USA,  August 9-13

XP2010 in Trondheim, Norway, June 1-4

SPA2010 in London, UK, May 16-19

XPDay 2009 in London, UK, December 7-9

SDC2009 in Gothenburg, Sweden, March 24

We are of course interested in speaking at your conference or company, please contact us.

Step size

April 1, 2010

Mikado method and step size

For those of you who wonder what the Mikado method is and don’t have the time to read through a lot of text. This one is for you:

Mikado Method Comic

The Mikado Method by Ola Ellnestam and Chris Matts

A couple of years ago, Ola Ellnestam and Daniel Brolund was working on a project where the code was a big ball of mud, or at least well on the way there. Global variables and singletons all across the code base, circular dependencies, deep and fragile inheritance hierarchies etc. The Technical Debt was everywhere.

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