alexchiri

2 minute read

This has been probably said millions of times until now, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt to say it once more: agile is also about people.

The promise of agile is that, if applied “_properly_”, it will “accelerate development cycles, reveal code defects earlier, decrease overall project risk, and allow faster response to customer needs and changing business priorities” to quote one of the Google results.

And I don’t think anyone is really doubting that. But in my experience, many agile adoptions are not so successful as they could be. One of the reasons is that they are applied on top of toxic environments which don’t change once agile is “installed”, actually a partial agile adoption can make those environments even worse.

Delivery?

While it’s not hard to understand why focus is on the delivery, I believe it’s a lost cause to focus only on delivery and expect good results.

If deadlines are missed or the delivered product doesn’t fulfil customer expectations, adding more sync meetings and all kind of control methods will hardly make things better.

It’s also about the people, stupid!

Attempting to follow some of the agile principles and values but have a bunch of unmotivated people or a group of developers who lack perspective (just to choose a couple of examples) will not make the delivery better. Agile is about self-organising teams and teams are made of people. If these people are not provided with a safe environment where they can be happy, creative, productive and proud of their work, then the only you thing you get by trying to apply a half-baked agile methodology is an extra thing for them to complain about.

I am hinting to one of the core values of agile, which is “individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. Of course, this could be interpreted in many ways, and it is.

My interpretation is to make sure you have people who are happy, creative, productive and proud of their work which collaborate using healthy interactions before you think about adding more tools and processes to improve delivery.

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