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Doing Agile perfectly? Then, you're doing it wrong!

Lot's of teams are sold on Agile. Every company does it a bit differently. Some dive in the deep end, others take baby steps. Typically adopted are: sprints and stand-ups/scrums. Next, perhaps: grooming of stories, retrospectives at the end of sprints.

A lot of great ideas and tips have been developed around the various aspects of Agile. For instance, take the scrum: it is supposed to be a quick meeting, to set the team's context for the next day or two. It isn't the meeting where problems are actually resolved. Often, only a couple of people on the team are directly involved with a problem. Having everyone else listen in can be a waste of time. Makes sense.

Yet, if you follow this "no discussion of problems" too closely, you're not doing being agile. Because the rule is part of the process, and Agile is not about process. If a rule is a good idea, it makes sense to follow it... following it will be natural and productive. And, if you suddenly feel you need to break the rule, ... if that makes sense to you in the moment... you should break it.

When someone else breaks a rule, you might think "that's not Agile". Stop! Catch yourself. That type of thinking is process-oriented. Instead, if you think "discussing that here will waste other people's time"... that's perfectly fine.

In summary: don't do Agile, but be agile.

Top comments (1)

eljayadobe profile image

A friend of mine is in a company that has decided to do agile. So I wrote up a quick Fad Agile, which I've been told is printed and hanging in cubicles.

I think agile has potential; do agile is faking it; be agile is achieving it.

I'm not discounting the value of "fake it until you make it" where doing agile may transition to being agile. May. Not guaranteed.