Agile is your home, look after it!

Agile is your home, look after it!

For many companies, agile is not just a temporary fix to software development problems. Agile software development has become a way of life, a place to inhabit. It is somewhere to live.

However, your ‘agile living space’ will be very different depending on your attitude, If you treat it like ‘going to a hotel’ for a few days your view is very different to seeing it as ‘building a home’.

If you choose to just ‘check-in’ to the agile hotel for a while, then simple stuff like tidying to prepare for guests just isn’t important. The bigger picture of major building work, for an extension, is not even on the agenda.

However, if you want to make agile, and the benefits that come with it, your home, then your approach will need to be very different. You will want it to be organised, happy and full of life. You want guests to be welcome and you don’t want rot in the cellar, even if you don’t use it very often…

Like any home, warmth and humanity is more important than obsessing over unimportant details. In the Autumn, you can’t get the leaf blower out at home every time a tree sheds a leaf, you’d go crazy, and it just distracts you from important tasks.

Remember, agile can help marketing, sales and other departments too, not just software development.

Here’s three top tips to ensure you don’t start treating your agile home like a hotel:

  1. Be present: Make sure everyone is ‘in the room’ and focused. Don’t just pay lip service to the daily / weekly ceremonies – stand ups and retrospectives especially.
  2. Invite others in: Don’t exist in your own agile world. Share the good things about it in language others can understand. Remember agile can help marketing, sales and other departments too, not just software development.
  3. Have warmth and humility: Don’t be a dictator, humans are fallible. Don’t expect people to guess at what you mean or want, and make it clear what you expect, what the ‘agile house rules are’ so everyone can get along.
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