Agile Schmagile Talk by Jon Kern (PDF)
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Agile Schmagile Talk by Jon Kern (PDF)

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It would seem that Agile isn’t the foolproof silver bullet that we said it would be! Oh, wait. We never said that. Let me re-phrase this a bit. Ahem. Ok, so not all groups doing agile succeed in ...

It would seem that Agile isn’t the foolproof silver bullet that we said it would be! Oh, wait. We never said that. Let me re-phrase this a bit. Ahem. Ok, so not all groups doing agile succeed in delivering software. And not all folks trained in two days of Scrum are magically anointed with wisdom and a Midas touch. The anger against “agile” is palpable in many discussion groups and blogs.
What should we do? Go back to Waterfall? Train people for four days? Well, I think it is time we do a re-set, and (re)educate folks on what agile is all about. If you are dogmatically following along with a handful of agile practices, but don’t really “get” the intentions behind the agile mindset, you may (will?) be disappointed in your results.
I’ve always said “agile is hard to do well” and I’m sticking to it! Let’s re-commit to the core principles and practices. Let’s do Agile like we mean it.

(Originally presented at JavaSymposium in March 2011)

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  • The slides are purposefully devoid of lots of content, as I wanted this to be a very engaging and dynamic talk, and not a death-by-powerpoint snooze fest. You kinda had to be there to get the full impact and stories :-)
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    Agile Schmagile Talk by Jon Kern (PDF) Agile Schmagile Talk by Jon Kern (PDF) Document Transcript

    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Agile Schmagile Does Agile Stink, or is it Just Me? Jon Kern QUESTIONS!http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 1
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Are You Agile? Peak Performance  Do you work on a high- performing team?  How can you be sure?http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 2
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Abysmal Performance  Have you been disappointed by Agile?  What practice has failed you/your team? Grade From Your Stakeholders/Clients? ✔http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 3
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Grade From Yourself? ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Agile Stinks! Or Does it?  No escaping that Agile can be a BAD word  100,000+ CSMs could be a good thing, or not  How can we tell what we should be doing?http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 4
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 (RE-)CONNECT WITH AGILE! Recipe For Agile Success Killer App Software Product Ingredients:" 1." 2." 3.http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 5
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Recipe For Agile Success Killer App Software Product Ingredients:" 1. PEOPLE!" " 2." 3. Recipe For Agile Success Killer App Software Product Ingredients:" 1. PEOPLE!" 2. Process" 3. Toolshttp://twitter.com/JonKernPA 6
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Being Able to Reason is Key  Educate yourself about the agile practices  Learn about successful project teams  Engage in observation – Cause and Effect  Reason about what you do as a team  Reflect & Adapt The Manifesto Reveals Truths  Individuals and interactions over processes and tools  Working software over comprehensive documentation  Customer collaboration over contract negotiation  Responding to change over following a planhttp://twitter.com/JonKernPA 7
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Agile Practices Demand Holism  Consider the project to be a system  Synergies of Practices  Holistic Approaches Agile is Simplehttp://twitter.com/JonKernPA 8
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 And Yet… AGILE IS HARD! WORLD UPSIDE DOWN LET’S TURN THEhttp://twitter.com/JonKernPA 9
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 The Anti-Agile Manifesto We are uncovering better ways to provide the illusion of developing software by listening to others talk about watching people try. Through this (dare I call it?) work, we have come to value: Dogmatic process and CASE-tool-like automation over inspiring quality individuals to interact with the team and the clients Sufficient up-front comprehensive design specifications over seeing frequent, tangible, working results. Writing detailed Statements of Work and negotiating changes over collaborating to do our collective best with the time and money at hand Driving toward the original project plan over accommodating the client changing their mind, or a path turning into a dead end So “What’s It Gonna Be?”  Agile Manifesto?  Bizarro Manifesto?http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 10
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 HOW DO WE START? IT STARTS WITH YOU!http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 11
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Change is Hard  Especially because it starts with you! I need We only work on training COMPLEX We’re stuck with projects legacy code The QA Dept Agile is does all of our a Fad testing Tight Deadlines TDD takes too much time We’ve never Management done it that way doesn’t care We need full before about quality requirements up front Be… a Craftsmanhttp://twitter.com/JonKernPA 12
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Be… a Professional Be… Impatienthttp://twitter.com/JonKernPA 13
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Be… Balanced  Treat software holistically, as a closed-loop system Be… Lazyhttp://twitter.com/JonKernPA 14
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Be… Inquisitive Be… Bold  Question with BOLDNESS  Ask Why?  Why?  Why?  Why?  Why?http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 15
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Don’t: Just Do It!  Understand why you are doing it  Observe, reflect, adapt You Don’t Do Agile, You Are Agile  Agile is first and foremost a personal PRACTICE!  As is ballet, yoga, rock climbing…  Never a master, always a studenthttp://twitter.com/JonKernPA 16
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Agile Has Failed Us?  Not so much!  Return to the founding principles  Be Agile, don’t blindly just DO Agile!  Apply common sense  Agile problems? First look inward…  The Agile Mindset has no agenda, no certificate Agile Can’t Change the World  But…  You can be more agile  Your team can be more agile  Your group can be more agile  Your company can be more…http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 17
    • http://technicaldebt.com 13 March 2011 Agile Can’t Change the World  But…  You can be more agile  Your team can be more agile  Your group can be more agile  Your company can be more…   Maybe agile CAN impact the world after all! Agile Schmagile Does Agile Stink, or is it Just Me? Jon Kern jkern@lightshipinc.com jkern@axialexchange.com http://TechnicalDebt.com THANK YOU!http://twitter.com/JonKernPA 18