September 06, 2018
Agile approaches are collaborative by definition and work extremely well for undefined or untried initiatives if the right people are involved in clear roles. It is common to hear “We’re about three months into Agile, and the biggest problem is people are unsettled about what their role is and how to execute it.”
The Agile transition creates a cultural change that impacts people. There is no way to avoid that. New norms, new hierarchy (none), new words, and new governance add to the confusion. Agile experts who jump in first, tend to drive Agile Nirvana, a sacred perfection with complex rules and regulations. This could be because of their passion, and it can also be a way of building your own ego. When the expert seeks to confuse others, whether consciously or unconsciously, the bias prevents effective adoption. Keep in mind always that the Agile philosophy is based on simplicity through people and collaboration. Not rules, not tools, not confusion. I stand by the values of the original brilliant minds of the Agile Manifesto. When collaboration occurs through careful communication and encouragement, you see the simple value of Agile. I see this in the amazing throughput our Moser Apps team has organically built, focusing on the customer/product owner and minimizing rules. They adapt to the need with simplicity and no drama.
This merits repeating: the most important thing is to meet the needs of the customer efficiently. Figuring out what the customer/business needs (vs. wants) require an openness to iterative ideas and conversations.