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

1 comment:

Amit said...

Some companies get it like Google does, on what "agile" really is. We treat software development process independent of all the other policies a company follows. Everything is interconnected. An unhappy developer is not going to produce great software simply because of some agile methodology. Interesting take on it by Steve Yegge at Google on what good agile and bad agile is.

Marketing tools like CMMI don't make a software company great or make them produce great software that people actually like using. The ingredients that go towards making great software shipped on schedule remains simple - rock star developers working for a company that "gets" it. Managers who code.. what a concept!