Zealot isn’t a word that you (by that I mean me…) come across too much but I’ve encountered it twice recently. I’ve been speaking to a couple of the senior management team about how I can sell Agile throughout the organisation and both of them have commented on the language that I use, one going as far telling me that I can sometimes come across as a zealot when I talk about Agile to people and if I remember rightly, the other told me that I can appear to be a fundamentalist.
Whilst neither of these descriptions are great from a personal perspective, the feedback is obviously useful and if I’m honest, it’s fair comment.
I want to see Agile principles and their associated practices adopted across the organisation, I think they offer a lot, both to the business and to the developers involved. Having given the feedback consideration I went away and thought about what I stand for and how I can communicate that to people in a manner that won’t alienate them to me.
My starting point was to think about what Agile means to me and to come up with 3 points. I’ve detailed those below:
- About setting up development teams to embrace change, they do this through intelligent solution design and with increased involvement with the customer to understand business priorities and associated requirements.
- About a process of continual planning rather than attempting to predict the outcome of everything in advance.
- About delivering increments of working software to the client, both to suffice business requirements sooner but also to allow them to understand the capabilities of the software that we can produce for them.
I’d be interested in hearing other peoples’ thoughts on this, I must confess that I do find it frustrating that people just don’t seem to get what to me, are the obvious advantages.
I also volunteered to one of the afore mentioned managers to write a document describing how I see Agile development working here. As that comes about I will post samples.