The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

5 Common Staff Reactions To The Word "Agile"

"Agile", a 5 letter word that can bring up thoughts, emotions, and even reactions. Of course it does, it's a loaded word that can mean as many things to as many people hearing it. It's a word that has been bandied around inside organisations for a number of years, it's been unfairly hooked to many other words, and it's still one that can cause confusion.

Over the years I've worked with teams in all corners of organisations incorporating those that want to, "Do it, do it now!", through, "Up for it, but please help us", to, "Whah? Nah mate".

Everyone, no matter where you are, has questions, and these are the top 5 I've heard but almost definitely not the top 5 out there, the comment box is right there at the bottom of this post for you.

Right, onto the 5 questions heard from around the traps ...

1: What is the point of changing to agile?

It's just more meetings

I don't have time to change to Agile

I'm too busy

I'm too busy to try new things

Yes, it takes time to change and all of us only want to invest into something we have confidence will benefit us - "What's in it for me?".

As each stand at the start of a potential change we don't really know the answer, although we can point to others in your organisation and online where they have gained and learnt. This why I take a "Let's answer this question BEFORE we do anything else. Let's work together and come up with one or two hypothesis we can validate and grow from."

The organisation has invested in agile for the benefit of all of us, we should look at it as a gift being offered; we can take bits and try whilst leaving other parts that may not deliver immediate value.

Only YOU will know which parts may make your work easier or more valuable, as only YOU know your current ways of working better than anyone else.

Let's start the conversation between YOU and us ... let's talk.

2: We are doing Scrum, we are agile (aren't we?)

I'm agile already

Is agile so new that it's sweeping the world with it's novelty and newness, heck no, it's been around with a 'title' for decades and before that for a millennia. We use parts of 'agile' in our working and personal lives all the time.

So, you may already be agile in the formal sense, you have been trained, got experience, and using recognised frameworks. Awesome, dig deep and carry on ... whilst sharing how you're doing it as we can all learn from the way others apply 'agile'.

You may also have an 'agile mindset' because of who you are and a lot of the underlying principles are just the way you run things. Again, a lot of us do something 'agile' each and every day and whilst we may not pop a label on it it's as agile as the next person.

3: Agile just doesn't work for me/us as we are completely BAU, true?

Not sure we will ever be able to work in sprints, given the nature of our work

Business As Usual (or even Core Activities as some have called them) comes in two flavours, most teams have both.

The first is the repeated and repeatable things a team do to 'keep the lights on' in whatever way they need to keep whatever lights are important to them. Is there value in applying an agile framework to this work, most likely not. Is there value in applying the four modern agile principles, definitely yes.

The second is to look at ALL work as BAU, "It's what we do, I go to work, I do stuff, I do it usually, and it's the business of the work I go to, therefore everything is Core Activities". Let's test that hypothesis eh, call me.

4: Why are you gonna force us to change, it's just another bloody management fad!

Where's the evidence that agile works? (Which is also phrased as where's the evidence that agile works for science and research?)

Need some evidence that it works

Agile doesn't work for [INSERT YOUR ARENA OF FUN]

Firstly, NO-ONE is gonna force any to change, that's a given.

Secondly, as noted above 'agile' is not new and certainly not something that came out of your typical business school or consultancy firms, although they are most certainly focusing on 'agile' these days as they know where businesses of all types are heading and want to 'get the bit of it'.

Evidence that it works:

Self serving articles, maybe - Google "evidence agile works".

My question though is not, "Does A beat B", but what from A and B can we use to make people awesome, ensure safety, deliver value faster, and safely experiment and learn.

5: Agile is easy, just give us the templates and leave us alone!

I'm not working Full/Proper Agile

Is Agile REALLY the solution to everything?

There is a massive difference between "being agile" and "doing agile". There are a multitude of agile frameworks one can use and whilst they are very useful guardrails for teams to work within never become to beholden to them, they are there to serve the team NOT the other way around. But hey, you want framework resources, Wikipedia has them for everyone.

If you are being agile then the frameworks you're using may not be quite so obvious ... but this is the gold standard and top work!

  • Make People Awesome
  • Make Safety a Prerequisite
  • Deliver Value Continuously
  • Experiment & Learn Rapidly

Is agile the be all and end all ... no, of course not.

But neither is waterfall, PRINC2, or even "doing it as we've always done it".

Let's take the best of everything and then we will all be awesome!

Mountains as seen from a plane, fading away into the light

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