Sunday, April 8, 2007

Agile is like golf

I went to New York last week, to visit friends and to visit one of the greatest cities in the world. Wonderful energy.

A fairly well-known joke line goes like this: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Answer: Practice, practice, practice.

This is one of my main points as I watch The Masters golf tournament today from comfort in Greensboro, NC. These golfers have been playing under tremendous pressure and under very difficult conditions for 4 days. In a world full of duffer golfers, these are the masters of the masters.

And yet in Agile, it seems so many expect to be masters at Agile in 2 iterations, or 2 months, or 2 years.

In golf, one must practice putting, practice the short game (chipping), one must practice sand shots, and irons, and fairway woods, and one must practice tee shots. I particularly like Rule 13: "The ball must be played as it lies."

In Agile, you must practice getting value from released software, practice releasing faster, practice all the engineering disciplines in developing software, improve the TDD and continuous build process, improve the Scrum practices (including especially realizing the value from retrospectives), improve the use of user stories, and improve the definition of business value embedded in the user stories. And, along with all this, practice the communication within the team, and improve the leadership and motivation of the team. While all the factors around the team are changing. And the team must play it as it lies.

May your team reach the Masters.


Damon Poole said...

I completely agree. People have been doing traditional development for a long time, it takes time to build up all of the necessary skills.

Interestingly, I just did a post which included an analogy of how
traditional software is like golf but for a completely different reason!

Joe Little said...

Glad you liked the post. I will take a look at yours.