Saturday, May 17, 2008

Attaining Agile Mastery -- Forget the word Agile!

Here's a thought that has been bouncing around my head:

To attain mastery of practicing Agile, try never again using the word itself to explain things you do or why you do them.   Oh, don't get me wrong, the word 'Agile' is valuable for a assigning a name to the umbrella over those wonderful principles.   But, if you don't know WHY those principles are important, when to make exceptions to the those guidelines, or how to explain them to someone else then you're missing a big opportunity!

You see, saying "It's Agile", is not a good explanation for WHY you are doing something.   Oh, it's an explanation to be sure, but what exactly does it say about you when your explanation for why you do something equates to 'It's policy'.   It's most definitely a good way to a) end the conversation or b) leave your listener with the impression that you are some sort reasonless zealot.

Personally, I'm going to test out this theory.   I'll post something here if it blows up in my face :)

p.s. - I imagine there is also value to the word in a sales context (given the current climate), but since I'm just attempting to be a successful practitioner, let's ignore that context for now.


Les said...

Great post Matt (Hope all is well by the way). This is a good concept and many Agilists that I've met need to take this to heart. And there is also the point to avoid simply saying: "because it works", or "because it's more efficient", or "because years of experience have proven it". Those are all nice but they are lacking any solid, quantitative value. Your message reminds people to say "Its more efficient because...", and if that is done properly then people can come from that explanation with a better understanding of the value of what you are trying to do.

Jason said...

Interesting thread came across the Scrumdevelopment Yahoo group. List of Scrum terms and normal speak equivalent