Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grass-roots Agility

This Monday, Feb. 26, I attended the Agile Denver meeting for a presentation by Greg "Hap" Pearman entitled Being Agile in a Non-Agile Space.

The gist of the talk was, how can one be agile if the company you're working with isn't embracing agile methodologies? Greg advocates a grass-roots effort.

Here are Greg's suggestions.

1. Have courage
- many agile initiatives are grass-roots
- to know when it's best to quit or start over
- don't be afraid to fail

2. you need to really know your stuff to push agile
- how and why agile works
- sharpen the saw

3. Set expectations
- communicate often and early

4. Lead by example
Build trust

5. Start by fixing the biggest pain points of the process
- don't start with the easy/small stuff!
- biggest ROI

6. Understand dependencies between agile practices.
- If you don't do one practice, how will you compensate?

Based on his experience at US West / Qwest, Greg has the following advice if you will attempt to transition a large organization to agile methodologies:
- go fully agile from the start, and give team lots of support to succeed
- agile practices are interdependent