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The Agile PM: Agile Basic Training—What is an Acceptable Level?

The Agile PM: Agile Basic Training—What is an Acceptable Level?

The agile methods are deceptively simple and common sense oriented. In many ways, that’s one of their great strengths, but its also one of their fundamental weaknesses. I see so many teams convinced that they can “go Agile” just by reading a book or an article and then diving in and “sprinting” towards successful software delivery. The logic goes that agile is simple common sense practices, self-directed, and intuitive—so of course it will be simple to pick up and execute.

I typically categorize these teams as “bad agile” teams in that they adopt a small, superficial, and somewhat trivial set of the core agile practices and then think they’re agile. In almost every case they don’t understand the agile mindset nor how the core principles and practices complement one another to foster improvement. They’re “doing Agile”, but they’re not “being Agile”.

The Agile Project Manager—“Going Agile”...The Price of Admission

I often get asked to visit agile teams—delivering some ad-hoc training and taking a look about. Usually I’m asked to do an informal assessment and share improvement feedback—framing the visit as part get to know each other session and part agile assessment. A short while back I visited a team. They’d been doing agile (mostly Scrum) for quite a while and considered themselves relatively mature in their adoption.

Right away, when I got off the elevator, I noticed that their environment was open and airy; so very conducive to collaborative agile teams.  There were rolling whiteboards all about and small groups of people were talking and pairing all over the place. Even the managers were sitting out in open space.