Draft proposal for an open space to discuss living up to agile values in the real world

I’m talking to “Doc” List about proposing an open space for Agile 2009. Here are my initial notes. I know the deadline is any day now…

“the meteoric rise of interest in and sometimes tremendous criticism of Agile Methodologies is about the mushy stuff of values and culture” — Jim Highsmith, History: The Agile Manifesto

We, workers, sometimes feel pressure to overlook ethical lapses and compromise personal values in order to provide for our families.

We may turn a blind eye to unfair treatment, un-sustainable pace, and less candor than agile principles demand. Particularly in this economy, we may relax the types of businesses/clients for whom we are willing to labor, what we are willing to build and the code we are willing to commit.

We may pragmatically define performance as doing what we’re told to the potential detriment of end users, the long-term success of our projects and the mastery that builds careers.

Can we create a safe, open space where software workers can discuss these challenges with a community of peers for advice, critique and kinship?

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About Ken Judy

I am an executive manager, software developer, father and husband trying to do more good than harm. I am an agile practitioner. I say this fully aware I say nothing. Sold as a tool to solve problems, agile is more a set of principles that encourage us to confront problems. Broad adoption of the jargon has not resulted in wide embrace of these principles. I strive to create material and human good by respecting co-workers, telling truth to employers, improving my skills, and caring for the people affected by the software I help build.