The existential joys of agile practice: I want to live in our imperfect reality

At Agile NYC I presented a pecha kucha. 20 slides. 20 seconds per slide. This is the second of four parts.

I want to live in our imperfect reality

Extreme beyond this pointAs agile becomes popular it becomes a buzzword. It gets promoted as a tool that solves problems when at its heart it is a set of values that encourage you to confront problems.

We should all recognize these organizing principles…

  • Collaboration over negotiation
  • Working software over specification
  • People over process
  • Responding to change over following a plan

In addition, Bob Martin’s “Quality over crap”

Worship the plan. The plan is good.Let’s talk about following a plan… worshipping a plan

I think of this every time I think of worshipping a plan…

A driver put her faith in her satellite navigation system. It told her to turn onto a bridge. Problem was the bridge had been washed away. She drove her $160,000 Mercedes into the flood where it was swept away. She had to be rescued as it sank.

black holeWhere the customer doesn’t entirely know what will succeed… Where they aren’t entirely steeped in the technology…

Specifications become a black hole so dense with detail that even light cannot escape.

Project schedules become the most boring fairy tails ever told.

Mocks mock us.

dandelionAnd process gates (“handoffs”) kill collaboration.

We put a lot of energy into delivering the wrong thing on time and on budget.

And we don’t even recognize or care about that thing by the time it goes live – if it ever does.

walk don't walkI want to live in our imperfect reality.

…Focus on what I did, what I’m doing and what I want to do next.

I want to know what we are trying to achieve and converse with people I’m achieving it with.

Dart arrows missing targetI accept failure if we call it out as we recognize it, applaud the attempt and make changes so that we don’t repeat that exact failure again.

In short, I love an iterative, reflective way of working because I dearly want to spend each day doing a little less crap and a little more not crap than the day before.

And I want to do it without simply handing off my crap onto others.

The existential joys of agile practice

  1. A family tradition of care and craft
  2. I want to live in our imperfect reality
  3. People over process
  4. Angel on your shoulder
This entry was posted in scrum, software development and tagged , , , , , by Ken Judy. Bookmark the permalink.

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.

One thought on “The existential joys of agile practice: I want to live in our imperfect reality

  1. Love this.

    I have a request: Can you please record your PechaKucha with audio and post somewhere like youtube? Please. Please.

    This is such an important message.

    Another note – it is really hard to read the posts in order. Lot’s of ways to fix. e.g. put links to all 4 parts at top or bottom of each post.

    Thanks again for this wonderful message.

Comments are closed.