Agile, People

What is in a name? My #Agile Voyageur Manifesto

Voyaguer-Fort-Gibraltar

Over the weekend I transferred my blog from bornagainagilist to agilevoyageur. There were a number of reasons why but the change started innocuously over lunch as we talked about Thought Leadership.

Thought Leadership

As many companies have, Protegra has used the term thought leadership when referring to blogging, writing, and presenting that passionate Protegrans do. As we discussed the term, we all agreed the term was not ideal. Thought Leadership has components of elitism and hierarchy that none of us really like. So we discussed alternatives like:

  • Activist
  • Evangelist
  • Explorer
  • Among others

The lunch ended with us deciding to not make a drastic change but to think more about the term Thought Leadership.

On the Drive home

On the drive home the explorer tag really stuck with me. Recently Protegra had all their employees complete Brantas profiles and the results were quite interesting. It turns out I have a very high tendency to challenge and I also expect people to challenge me. Over lunch I jokingly (somewhat) told Steve Rogalsky “I’ve never found an idea I didn’t want to improve”. I don’t mean that to sound condescending or arrogant, I just always think how can I take this great idea and make it even better? Just doing what others have done isn’t as interesting as creating something new and hopefully better.

So the concept of explorer really seemed to resonate with me. But it was still kinda generic, could I find a term that maybe is a bit more Canadian?

Thankfully the Festival du Voyageur is being currently held in Winnipeg. It is a winter festival celebrating winter and Canada’s French Canadian heritage. Although I am not French Canadian, I thought the term Voyageur was perfect. To me it was a term used to describe a Canadian Explorer with pnash! So Agile Voyageur was born.

Agile Voyageur

Although the bornagainagilist name fit me well over the last years and a bit, I did find my focus changing since I first started to blog. I am now driven more to always explore and hopefully improve processes that are both Agile and Traditional. As my primary thoughts are about Client Value, I almost always end up more towards Agile than Traditional. But as expected, most of the time I find the most value in the middle where some exploring is needed. We seem to have many proponents that recommend pure Agile and Traditional positions, and my focus is more on how to combine those processes to create something even better.

The other aspect about the Voyageur name that resounded with me is the exploring aspect. I took this to mean experimenting as well as exploring. I find we need more explorers/experimenters that propose a solution and then experiment and explore that solution by trying it out on a real project and reporting back. Without verification in the real world of a proposed solution, it is just a nice idea. To move ideas forward we need more explorers and experimenters and less speeches about ideology without facts and real world experience.

My Agile Voyageur Manifesto

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

And my one addition!

Real world experiments and experiences over speeches and ideaologies

Summary

I hope you enjoyed my writing in the past and will continue to read my blog with the new name.

Now, where did I put that Tourtiere?

About Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio is passionate about his work as the Manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Manitoba. Terry oversees the governance on Information Technology projects to make sure the most important projects are being worked on in a consistent and effective way. Terry also provides leadership on the customized Project Methodology that is followed. The Project Methodology is a equal mix of Prince2, Agile, Traditional, and Business Value. Terry strives to bring Brutal Visibility, Eliminating Information islands, Right Sizing Documentation, Promoting Collaboration and Role-Based Non-Consensus, and short Feedback Loops to Minimize Inventory to the Agile Project Management Office. As a fan of pragmatic Agile, Terry always tries to determine if we can deliver value as soon as possible through iterations. As a practical Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Traditional and Agile approaches. Terry is a fan of AWE (Agile With Estimates), the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, and asking why?

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