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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Challenge the person that tells you “We don’t really do agile here”

How many times did you hear somebody say “We don’t really do agile here”.
What does that even mean? First, the word “agile” is not a noun and you can’t do “agile”. We all forget this and we all get caught using the word “agile” as a noun.
The Agile Manifesto is very good, and how some of the organizations that promote scrum approach interpreted that manifesto is just one way of looking at it. I understand why these organizations worked on converting the word “agile” from adjective to a noun. It is because you can sell nouns and you can’t sell adjectives. Think about the overall industry that is built around training people on agile methodologies and all the certifications. I have nothing against these organizations writing books and providing courses on this matter. That is all good. I encourage everybody to learn and get exposed to different types of opinions and interpretations. You can treat all that available material on agile methodology as case studies. We all know that case studies are taken, absorbed and then you decide for yourself and for your organization what works for you.
You and your organization really need to go back to basics. Go back to that Agile Manifesto, print it in huge print and post it on your walls. Then take all that knowledge from scrum master certification courses, SAFe courses and define for yourself what that manifesto really means to you. It may mean that you start with a very simple approach; for example, you could start by doing the following:
  • Analyze at the end of your sprint, just find one thing that you would want to improve.
  • Improve it during the next sprint and acknowledge that small win.
  • Repeat the process and get that much closer to higher level of agility.
Your organization has a lot of smart people who are passionate about increasing agility because the word “agile” lost its meaning. You can create a committee of these smart individuals and have them exposed to all the training material on the agile methodology and then bring them back into the room and work on how you can translate the Agile Manifesto into a very achievable and short list of guidelines (not rules) for your company that you can evolve through iterations.
Let me just leave you with one simple advice. Please make sure that the items on the RIGHT side of the manifesto do not weigh more and tip over the scale to the right side.
Almir M.
#agile #agility #scrum #softwaredevelopment #softwareengineering #SDLC

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