During training courses, I often think it would be helpful to have all of Scrum and Agile summarized on one page. It’s actually not so easy! Even though the Agile Manifesto is just 4 values and 12 principles, and the Scrum Guide is 17 pages, it is still hard to summarize all that on one slide. We’ve tried anyway, and I am interested in your opinion on our efforts.
Most IT organizations today have adopted some flavor of Agile. Some use it across the board and some use it for just a few projects. The question I frequently get from leaders and managers is why are things getting worse now that we are using Agile?!? If this describes your experience, here are 5 questions you can use to better understand the results you are getting.
#1 - Are You Seeing Problems You Have Always Had or Are They New Problems?
I have a colleague who is an Agile Coach and he frequently helps me to see my own biases about agile. He gently points out that something I said was actually about Scrum, and not about Agile. You see my colleague comes from an XP background. When I talk about sprints or backlog refinement or other Scrum-specific concepts, he finds it jarring.
It's interesting to me that the main people who talk about using hybrid approaches to Agile are traditionally trained project managers. They believe there is a special blend of waterfall and agile techniques that will yield better results than either approach alone. They want to take the best of both worlds. I think they are misguided.
Last month I wrote about a couple of blog posts on LinkedIn about the death of Agile. Though the author admitted he was speaking tongue in cheek (and clearly hyping the topic by using an image of a nuclear explosion), he raised some good points about why some people wish Agile were dead. In this post I look at the areas where I agree with the author, as well as where I think he is wrong.
As you have probably noticed by now, I am a huge fan of Agile approaches and ways of working. This post is about some of the key aspects of Agile that I really like. These 12 characteristics really highlight the key benefits of Agile methods, and how they relate to some of the areas of concern I had when leading traditional projects. I hope that you will find them useful as well.