In a quick chat in passing today a student mentioned that Agile has been withdrawn from the local “software engineering fundamentals” course – there will be 10 weeks of UML instead. Stickmen. Handy.
Anyway – that chat reminded me that 1) I have this blog 2) there are still many misunderstandings about Agile out there. (The concept of “Agile Fanboys” was raised by the lecturer withdrawing Agile…)
Here’s my simple view of Agile today (it may change as I evolve with it!):
1) Agile is about working together. Ensuring we (us ITS nerds and our business) have a shared understanding of what our business needs from us to deliver value. Delivering value means we succeed as a business. Succeeding as a business means that we can feel fulfilled (we’re succeeding, hoorah!): and it means that we can keep our jobs. Good.
2) It’s NOT a cult, it’s NOT voodoo; but it IS cultural. It’s based on TRUST. Trust at all levels. From the Release Engineer (the Iteration manager of Iteration managers) to the Iteration Manager, from the Iteration Manager to the team – from the team to each other, from the Iteration Manager to the Release Engineer… trust. Trust that we are all here for the success of the business. And we all know what success does.
3) It’s simples! There are some basic ideas to follow. There are some basic ceremonies (quickish, useful, value-driven meetings) that should be followed. As iteration/scrum masters we need to keep coaching, and keep coming back to the simplicity of it all. If we’re wasting time – we’re wasting value. The main thing we should reflect on always is – IS THIS USEFUL to the success of the business?
And speaking of cultural – workplaces are changing – let’s face it. A great example of this is Zappos – who are changing mindsets about workplace structure and running a “holocracy”– trust and self-organising teams are key. We’re not quite (!) there yet – but Agile helps us nudge along to join the evolving world of business…..