Agile is a marketing term that describes best practices for iterative, incremental development of technology. In general, it emphasizes people over process; short feeedback loops; regular, quick delivery of business value to the customer; and a tightly integrated co-located, collaborative team working at peak performance. If you’ve wondered about how successful startups work, or how companies like Google or top-notch performance consulting teams operate, the answer is Agile.
But Agile is also a kind of movement. There are conferences, books, a manifesto, seminars, training, videos and all sorts of other things to help you out. Sometimes this help gets kind of silly, like in the recent conference where haiku was proposed as a way of bonding the team together better. Like anything that focuses on person-to-person interaction, there’s no shortage of opinions. So because Agile focuses on the critical factors of technology development, communication and collaboration between humans, it has roots close to sales, negotiation, religion, psychology, politics, sensitivity, feelings, expectations — all of that messy people stuff.
So what happens is that there are a lot of people who are very serious about developing software as efficiently as possible chasing a lot of stories and anecdotes about just how to do that. What can I say? Sometimes it feels like geek sensitivity training.
So as a public service to the agile community, I would like to offer the reasons why Agile Project Management is like teenage sex.
- You always exaggerate how much of it you’re getting.
- Everybody else seems to be having more than you
- When somebody tells you about their experiences, you’re quick to point out that they’re not doing it right
- You spend a lot of time reading and thinking about it
- It’s very awkward trying to make happen
- You can’t wait until you finally get the real deal
- Nobody is really doing that much of it anyway
Cheers!If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course, and follow me on Twitter.