Evangelising Agility at Yuletide
Staying up late debating the pro’s & con’s of Scrum, into the small hours of Boxing Day. That’s when you know you’ve caught the bug for certain: in the middle of the most sacrosanct of holidays, as far away from work as you can get, I’m all fired up describing how it saved the team so much unplanned work this year, and how we really hit those velocity adherence metrics.
One of the critical questions coming up at times like this, is what Agility does not suit; I’m glad to be able to call up examples from numerous industries including
- Ad Land: despite the many analogous fundamentals (advertising/design creative are the devs; clients are the product owners; account managers are the software managers) culturally it’s chalk-and-cheese.
- Music Industry: not sure anybody’s ever tried running a pop band using Scrum; could be a success story waiting to be told… but again the personalities & attitudes that desire to sustain a music career tend not to respond well to itemising of SMART-driven deliverables & timelines.
- Haute Cuisine: here you really want Waterfall (roadmapped, predictable, formulaic, known deliveries satisfying the precise customer request).
If we can be clear-cut about where approximately project management approaches become software delivery methodologies and where specifically they are relevant & helpful to collaborative teams outside of tech, then our ability to articulate its relevance & purpose within will surely increase. This articulacy is (the?) essential in enabling us to convince those who’ve yet to see Agile/Scrum/etc working “in the flesh”. As my solution architect so crisply put it when we were debating automated test suites at the launch of a recent project,
Until we’ve felt it saving the countless weekly hours of manual, unplanned work; we’re tempted to argue that Agility is not worth the effort of implementation. That’s quite a lot like saying (not having seen a kettle boil or a bulb fire up) that electricity is not worth the effort of pushing the cords into the wall!