Friday, October 24, 2014

Why are we doing Agile?

We just had Southern Fried Agile in Charlotte.  See

I have 5 take-aways.  For today, the first one.

1. Why are we doing this?

We are not doing Agile for Agile's sake. We are doing it because we think it will help.

And the most important people to help are.... well, first, everyone.  Everyone at the same time.  Unbelievable.  But that is too broad for most of us.

First, the customers.

Secondly, the widows and orphans that own the firm (and, ultimately, it is the widows and orphans who own the firm).

Third, the workers and the managers (although in knowledge work, where you separate worker from manager is hard to see...).

Making people's lives better is often overly abstracted into the notion of delivering Business Value.  And that is mostly correct.  But remember that we are delivering business value to real people.  We are real people, and even they (the customers) are real people.

So, we talk about how lean-agile-scrum is so important, and it is, but only as a means to helping the lives of real people get better.


Change is always hard.  They say birth is painful.

If it is 'too hard' to become truly agile in X period of time, should we compromise?  Is it better to compromise?

The logic being: the benefits of X (agile, for us) are not worth the pain of the transition.

(Fortunately for human life, most women do not find this argument compelling enough.  Although you see in the eyes of 'new' mothers some thoughts like this. Before the baby is really real.)

Umm.  Very difficult question this is.  Worry about it you will.  Act you must.

And if we compromise (of course we humans always do), should we become complacent with what we changed to 'in the first jump'?   NO!!!!!


One of the key points...   We agile people too quickly assume that others (eg, executives) naturally understand why agile is important, and 'care' about agile.

And, one point is, they often do not.  They care about people, they care about business goals.  But, they do not see the necessary connection between business goals and agile.

We must always remember this.

Even with people who understood agile a month or two ago, we always should remind them, and show them well, how agile gives them the benefits they need and want.  Agile is a means, not an end in itself.  Let us not conflate the two.


Do I still think that, in most situations, by doing less Scrum-Butt people will get more benefits.  Yes, strongly!!

Do I think that everyone everywhere must immediately do, and only do, pure Scrum?    Well, I think that is too broad or aggressive a statement and not worth answering. For example, I will never talk to or even see 'everyone'.

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