Getting “agile” doesn’t have to be a mystery, nor it is hard to learn as it’s a basic approach that can be learned in a day.
And much like golf, you can spend a lifetime trying to master it.
Following on from our article early this month we’ve been inspired to talk more about the role of agile and how to adopt it’s core principles.
There are just FIVE principals of agile:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working deliverables and iterations over super-massive projects and comprehensive documentation
- Collaboration over Rules, Hierarchy and silos
- Responding to change over following a plan
- Learning over opinions, via experimentation and testing
Despite the 5 rules, there are 57 different varieties of “agile”, including groups fighting (pointlessly I might add) for control over what is and what is not agile. They include the Agile Alliance, Scrum Alliance, XP, Lean, DSDM, Agile Marketing Manifesto and PMI.
Truthfully? Most of this is manufactured complexity. Agile is an approach that bets on people getting it right by working together quickly to deliver the needs to customers and not worrying too much about historical convention or occasionally not getting it right.
So why Agile in a day?
That is how long it would take a naturally agile person to learn the ropes and improve their efficiency by an order of 100%. Seriously.
For those that are not naturally agile, a day spent learning the frameworks used will give them a sustainable 10-20% improvement in productivity. That equates to 22 free days a year.
Everyone can afford to gamble a day and see if it’s right for them. If it works then it just keeps on giving, year after year and you can choose to spend you new-found time on whatever you choose; be that play
Who can you call?
Sadly not us, we ploughed our own furrow to agile working half a decade ago. Thankfully there are simpler and faster ways to do it today:
- Buy a book : Agile Project Management For Dummies
- Watch a video : 10 minutes to learn scrum
- Go on a course off site: lots of suppliers but LTI are big
- Hire a guy to come to you and teach a group about agile
- Hire an agile coach
- Use a cloud-based service such as Pivotal Tracker
- Download an agile app for your iPhone
- Join an agile support group
- Loiter on the hundreds of agile forums out there
This list in not exhaustive, just a sample of places you can go to learn more about the agile world.
Well, oddly, there isn’t any – agile is the disruptor at the moment and therefore the upstart. It will replace old-fashioned project control in the next few years … and then a new pretender will arrive to disrupt agile.
There are issues with agile, it’s not all plain sailing and scaling from departmental to enterprise projects is the biggest challenges faced at the moment.
by Martin Dower, CEO