How to start with Agile: one simple hint

Jaakko Palokangas, my colleague brought today great idea how to start with Agile in team of newbies. Let’s call it Agile principles workshop. Gather the team you should help to implement Agile or your team in case you are team lead or project manager and spend one and half hour discussing together. Present Agile manifesto or Software craftsmanship manifesto and let people talk in groups, how they feel it and if this can fit in their context, experience, contract constraints, technology limitations etc. If not, ask them why?

Agile manifesto (Czech version) with few example comments:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    • “We are far away from our customer, can we be more connected?”
    • “Our tools do not allow changes in way of working…”
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
    • “Our public customer requires documentation more than software, but we can explain the value and try to convince the customer with regular demonstrations and possible corrections and changes.”
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Let them discuss and translate those values to their language and context for 30 minutes (in smaller groups). Then continue with Agile principles for the rest of time and let team define their own principles they can commit to. It can look like this:

  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  2. We welcome changing requirements, but do not prefer them because of fix price and fix scope contract.
    • changed because of contract form (fix all contract)
  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale
    • changed because our technology does not allow them simple building weekly, it takes 3 days to build complete system
  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.

Based on this mapping and discussions, you get also list of VISUALIZED priorities, what to fix first with Agile implementation ;) Changed principles are the waste indicator you need to remove to be more productive. Such discussion helps people to feel involved and it is possibility for them to incorporate their personal vision. By this workshop you get people on board and you can start to construct future Agile flow!

Please, comment if it can work also in your case.

Máte k tomu co říct?

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