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One SURE sign your team is maturing with Agile!

May 5

Written by:
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 9:26 PM  RssIcon

Agile Software Development With ScrumThis week, I believe, we had a HUGE break through with our Agile process.  Read on for a cool even that happened during one of our scrums.

Agile Software Development With ScrumAt my company, we've been doing Agile dev for over a year now, and I believe we've been truely doing Agile development. 

We started with the "ok now, let's be good little developers and do it exactly like the book says to do it." But that quickly gave way to making tweaks to streamline the process for how OUR team works.  I believe this is CRITICAL to making Agile work in your, or any organization!  You have to be flexible to make adjustments for how your your team works.  Watch it, I said "your team."  I didn't say "for your boss", nor did I say "your president", I said "for your team!" 

Agile's BIG on self management and turns the classical management structure on it's head!  The people doing the work are empowered to make decisions and the bosses are there to get out of the way and remove non-work related obstacles (I know, I know, the "scrum-master" is supposed to do that, but we don't have a dedicated scrum master and that's OK for us).  Our dev team was flexible enough and accomodating enough to work through the minor hiccups which lead to huge kudos at every "ops meetings" afterwards.

One BIG benefit to doing agile was, IMHO, happier QA guys!  Ya, that's HUGE!  I know!  Things like helping QA stay in the loop during the dev process, having them there all along the way is cool!  I worked closely with BertC (and recently AlanB) and their input DURING the design and dev process and just along the way (over lunch, coffee, that kind of thing) has had HUGE gains in functionality, stability and overall performance.

Anyways, all that to say, I think we're maturing with our dev process and using Agile.  Well, this week I think think I saw confirmation.  One team during a scrum kickoff pushed back on their requirements saying "nope, sorry, specs aren't detailed enough."  The specs reflected a small smidgen of changes the devs saw would/could/should be required, red flags were immediately raised.  They gave the "scrum master" their reasons (everyone agreed, but that wasn't part of the process LOL) and the manager said, "ya know, I agree with you, back it goes."  (oh boss, if you're reading this, they didn't just twiddle their thumbs, they DID have other work to do in the meantime while the specs are being reworked LOL)

The key thing here is, that team had enough confidence in themselves, our agile process, and our dev mgr, to push back and say NOPE, back to the drawing board.  I was watching this and thinking WOW!!!!!!!!!  Something just happened that's almost beautiful.  Ok, so you have to be a geek to see that coolness, but it is! 

Now that's out in the open, it's time to grab a coffee and get coding!

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