So you have a stand-up every morning. Good for you… So you have JIRA. Even better for you…. But are you working on things that are forever stuck on your board? If so, you are probably “doing agile” instead of “being agile” (thanks boss – you rock). Being agile is what will take the mother of all mindset changes. At the heart of it all, you need to predict that sprint. Brutally honestly. So if the sprint ONLY delivers 5 items and you have predicted those 5 items it is better than if the sprint delivers 5 items but you have predicted 10 items to make yourself look good on some report somewhere….
And then look at ways of improving the amount of work you produce within the sprint. You need to acknowledge that rework is okay. You need to acknowledge that working software is of higher value than the one-hundred-page document describing software that doesn’t work. And you need to have a team who are committed to doing the same.
Give me one person with zero experience in a particular software stack who is willing to think on his or her feet any day. The five people with fifteen years experience who are all “gurus”, but want to craft software that caters for that one in a zillion time when something may happen might sound great, but I will deliver more business value with the one. Give me one person who is willing to accept, test and create specs by example before you give me five seasoned testers who will destructively test for things such as my building being hit by a nuclear warhead – I will deliver more business value with the one tester. Even better if this person has the development expertise to manage the rework themselves – REWORK IS OKAY.
Vox what? In traditional organizations there is an inherent change management culture to consider. For example, you have to raise a change management request on day x for deployment on day y in order to go live on day z. Whenever I hear the terms “raise change request”, “lead time”, “change management”, “release management” I start to question at what point my agile brain will have to meet my waterfall brain. Vox politico (my own term) – the willingness and drive for an organization to break down traditional change management into something that supports and enables shorter iterations that agile brings to the table.
Before you go down the journey of agile, are you sure that your organization is able to handle the change in mindset? Because if they are not ready, you have a problem – how useful is it to fix your process and to adapt to change and to live and breathe change when you still cannot deliver to a user in the time frame that has been agreed upon.
My next blog will talk about the first value of the agile manifesto – “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. I would love to hear from you, please feel free to comment.