Monday, January 2, 2012

Agile is not enough in large organizations

I see this over and over again in my current companies as well as hearing it from other firms. With Agile (and Scrum) the teams do improve, “things” get better and then they stall. Why? I claim here and now its because of
  • the missing management support
  • continuous improvement is not in place at all levels
  • people are not respected
  • and the people are clueless about their goals
I hear you say, BUT of course this is not happening in our organization. WE DO have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, everybody (is told and) knows what to do and WE know in which direction to go etc. etc. (Reminds me a little on married couples – did you notice the change from the “me” to “we” as soon as your friends get married? Of course this also happens to oneself, typically it is unnoticed until the person looses its identity in a marriage – potentially followed by divorce). We know often means that some managers in the firm claim to have some idea in what they want, independently whether they are able to communicate this or not and completely loosely coupled to reality of software development.

What do we need? A good start for all people who are not coding (e.g., testers, architects, XYZ managers) is to start looking into LEAN. Yep – those “crazy” ideas adapted from the Toyota Production System towards product/software development. Ideas like: the boss is coming to a team and asking – how can I help you? What can I do to make your work life better – and DO IT.

The tester - claiming to have such an important role - asking questions like? Mmmh, how could I help the developers to implement the right stuff, maybe by writing test cases and even automate those (see also ATDD and ROBOT framework).

Start with yourself: I hear a lot of “I can't do” – how about you would help your colleagues and friends (maybe first yourself) towards a “I can do” attitude? I can tell you from my own experience, it's much more FUN – REALLY!!!
Imagine a world without boundaries (and fears) and think about three things you could do at work to improve the way management supports you. I am sure you come up with some great ideas (maybe simply talk to your manager/s, make your work problems visible, talk to your Scrum Master). Now take a deep breath and find the bravery to take those ideas into (STOP: in case you are not sure whether your action is legal or otherwise justified by human rights, please contact me BEFORE you start your actions) reality.

Jolly Good

1 comment:

  1. Interesting blogagain and I agree with your message here. Only one thing. Testers and Architects ARE developers as well. I feel that, when you are stating it like this, you are embracing silos.

    Otherwise, let the good stuff coming :)