Agile, People

Living with an #Agile Teenager

As Agile moves into its teenage years, it is remarkable how the behavior of Agile has taken on some of the characteristics of a typical teenager. I must admit the genus of this blog idea was generated by this article published in Agile Connection.

In addition to the great insights provided in the article, it occurred to me that there are several other similarities that were not mentioned.

1) Parents are dumb – the Agile teenager really believes that they know best as to how projects should be delivered. Traditional parents that delivered Software Development projects for the last 50+ years are not cool and their processes and procedures are dumb. While many of these observations may be true, the Agile teenager should be careful not to throw out all the knowledge gained by their parents previously. Some of that stuff actually worked.

2) Gangs are cool – the Agile teenager really believes that belonging is one of the most important things. Not only do they expend considerable effort labeling people as Agile (Cool) or not Agile (uncool), there also are cliques within Agile that group people together. (Scrum, XP, SAFe, DAD, etc…) Many of these cliques only socialize within their groups and very rarely do Agile teenagers move between the cliques. Once you are in, you find it hard to get out!

3) Agile in the basement – the Agile teenager wants the freedom to do whatever they want, but still be within the safety of the parent’s budget. Agile still hasn’t come to grips of how to expand its processes fully out to the business and focuses more just on the Software Development processes. The parents still need to provide the house/project budget and the Agile teenager wants the autonomy to determine how to best spend that budget. The Agile teenager is starting to understand the complexities of the total environment, but in many ways the Agile teenager has still not moved out from home.

4) Agile falls in love hard – the Agile teenager is constantly looking for acceptance and as such can fall in love very fast and very hard. The Agile teenager falls in love with ideas and with every ideas they believe that this is ‘THE’ one. Undoubtedly, the idea breaks their heart and the Agile teenager moves on to the next suitor. The Agile teenager is starting to become more critical in looking at new ideas and new loves, but is still learning.

and the best one

5) Agile isn’t scared or hesitant – unlike the Agile teenager’s parents, the Agile teenager isn’t scared or hesitant to try new things. The Agile teenager’s parent advises them that certain things are dangerous or dead ends, but the Agile teenager doesn’t listen and continues on to experiment and adapt. This is the Agile teenager’s strength as they haven’t yet become complacent and defeated and still strives for improving every single day.

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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