Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2012

Less Scorn, More Listening

I got a tweet this morning about the new VersionOne "State of Agile Development Survey" in which the re-tweeter used hashtags like #shocking and #fail.  Looking for a good laugh, I clicked on over to the survey, and realized I #liked the survey and I thought it was #interesting and #helpful to me.  I didn't find anything that jumped out to me as a #failure in a particularly #horrifying way.  Then for a moment I thought maybe I am not one of the #Agile Cool Kids.  Of course the moment was brief and I bounced back quickly--please don't worry. 

But as I thought it over, I realized I myself used the phrase "that's CRAZY" yesterday for a perfectly reasonable management reaction to a difficult personnel situation on a team.
Have you ever thought about how much elitism and scorn we carry around with us in the Agile world?  Every question becomes a target for someone to poop on, as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would say.  Do you use written requirements?  Are…

The Pirate Code: You and Your Official SDLC Process

Agile purists may be frightened to learn that in many enterprise environments, one of the first steps executive management may take towards agile adoption may be to establish an official agile SDLC process, and to post a diagram representing the process, along with its artifact templates, in some prominent place on the company web site.  There will be 3-D box diagrams and arrows on it for sure, along with many links and appendices.  The diagrams and artifact templates themselves will go through weeks or months of review before central posting, not to mention what will theoretically happen if your project adheres to the highly edited result.

One might think that leading with the official SDLC would seem to defeat the whole point of "self organization." Plus, one further conjectures, the kind of people who want to push agile from the top are just the ones who want to commit other anti-agile atrocities such as requiring an audit trail of changes to the plan or forbidding teams…

Delegation, meet Agile

You might not expect to encounter the "delegation" concept in a blog post about agile software development.  After all, agile is all about the "self governing team."  But in the real world, if you are in a company which is transitioning to agile, and you are the project manager of a newly created agile team, you may well need to consider how to create a situation around your team that allows self-governance to emerge without making you completely crazy.  In real life, your first few weeks with your agile team can seem like your worst nightmare.  This is not because there is something wrong with you.  This is completely predictable.  Stop blaming yourself.

If your team is used to having you, as a project manager, take all the responsibility, and you suddenly stop telling people what to do, (along with not setting up their meetings, not taking their notes, and not getting them a projector every single time for every single meeting), you should not expect them to do …