Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Agile for business people

Who does Agile serve?

The first answer I have is...many people. Some Agile skeptics (and we need them) want to think that Agile only serves the (selfish) interests of those coder dudes. Well, yes it does serve the interests of the developers. And it should serve their interests, albeit any of us would be wrong to look at things too selfishly. We all need to make our work more human and humane, and partly so that we can do better things. This is no less true for developers.

The next answer is...the customer. More specifically, the many many end customers of the business or users of the software (assuming you are doing a software project). Very true.

Some business school friends would say...the shareholders. That by making the business more profitable, we improve the financial health of the widows and orphans who ultimately own most stocks and bonds. True again.

One group connects all these people. The business people who run and manage and lead each business. My sense is that we have explained Agile and Lean and Scrum and XP and Agile Project Management to many, but to these business people we have not explained it well enough. And we must sympathize with their needs and concerns. And their mis-understandings. Like most of us, they are rushed, and all the wonderful things about Agile seem to them like yet another pretty Powerpoint that they see 10 of each day.

So, while this blog is for all of us who benefit from Agile (or Lean-Agile, if you prefer), this blog is especially dedicated to the business people.

+ Joe Little

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