Agile: Are You Doing It Wrong?
One of the most common questions that provoke many arguments among the higher management are “Should we adopt Agile?” and “What is better – Scrum/Kanban/etc?”. But in reality, these are the wrong questions.
What we see nowadays are the so-called ‘methodology wars’ – we focus on debating what approach is better for the company. In other words, we focus on ourselves – instead, we need to focus on our customers!
In reality, there are only three things that you need to be concerned with:
- Deliver a product to actual customers;
- Pay attention to how they use it;
- Do better next time when you deliver.
And if you are still debating about these three steps, then there is little hope for your business.
To Agile or Not To Agile?
For those who have their feet on the ground and focus on getting better at providing value, here is a brief information that you need to know about Agile.
In February 2001 seventeen independent-minded software practitioners created The Agile Manifesto that says:
We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
- Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools
- Working software over Comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation
- Responding to change over Following a plan
As you can see, the Agile Manifesto says nothing about Scrum masters or daily standup meetings! So there is no point in ‘methodology wars’ and wasting time and tossing from Scrum to Kanban to Scrumban to XP…
Instead, focus on whether team members are interacting in the right way that allows them to deliver working software. And whether your team is able to listen and hear their customers and change their plans as a result of these interactions.
After the Agile Manifesto became extremely popular, lots of companies decided to adopt Agile and its every ever-existed framework. But as a result, many of them forgot the real meaning of Agile and became extremely dysfunctional.
The truth is that popular Agile “brands” – Scrum, Kanban, Extreme programming, Pair programming and many others – may help you create better products. Or they may not.
That’s why, instead of mindlessly following another “Agile brand”, experiment, try new things, review and make changes that will let you deliver better products. And what’s the most important, always remember about your customer.