Thursday, July 22, 2010

Agile and "People before Process"

As I have watched this thing called "Agile" develop I have always been looking for things to creep in that may be in violation of foundational aspects of Agile process.

Okay, I do more than watch, I try to direct where I feel direction is needed. It might not be wanted but it is what I "feel" is needed. One thing that took me a while to learn is that my opinion and observation is just as good as anyone's. I tended to defer too much because I didn't understand that some people are just "word" factories continuously spewing forth informational pollution. Maybe I have become a polluter.

Agile has been described and re-described and defended over an over. This is a refinement type process. It is natural.

A recent description of an Agile team is "a team who's members have all of the skills necessary to complete the task." If the team doesn't have the exactly right members then it has failed this Agile qualification and therefore is not Agile and any failures cannot be attributed to Agile.

Well, I am going to make up a new software process right here and right now. It is called "Superior Software Development Process" or SSDP.

Superior Software Development Process requires omnipotent and omniscient members. SSDP guarantees success. If you have mere mortals on your team you cannot use SSDP.

People before process. I think that is important. I recognize that people are imperfect. Sometimes imperfect people luck up and do better than expected and sometimes they chose incorrectly due to lack of experience and really mess things up.

An Agile team is made up of imperfect people with limited skill sets who are willing to learn and with new information and experience continuously refine estimates and improve code quality, product quality, and user satisfaction.

Agile recognizes this is a journey, that this is a growth process, that the end cannot be seen but we can guess what is coming and accept what actually comes.

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