The State of Agile – Sara Broca

Background:

I am a project manager / quality junior in the rail industry for 3 years and now begin a carrier in aeronautic industry. Passionate about my job, I’m always looking for new methods, new ways of doing things to improve my daily life and the one of people I work with.

How has Agile changed?

For now, I cannot not really apply Agile methods in my environment. I heard about Scrum for the first time by collaborators from a software team. I liked the concept very quickly. So I did some research on the subject via the Web, I joined an association specialized in the field and I’m always looking for feedback from experiences on the subject. After some research, with one of my colleagues, we tried to introduce people to the method, it did not work. People were resistant because they do not see how we could adapt to our world.

I tried to put in place daily scrum with a small team on a traditional project to improve communication with this team and try to introduce them without too mention the name of the method. As always, there were positives and negatives.

  • The positive points are the proximity between the project manager and team being able to make decisions quickly and transparently.
  • The negative points I have found are the inability to build a backlog, having no presence of the product owner, and the difficulty to implement the user stories.

What Agile software development is in my mind: a toolkit for managers to better communicate, give feedback to the real teams share around problems. For individuals like myself who have been introduced to Agile through different ways, it is easy to see the value of what Agile development methodologies can bring to a team. I see Agile getting very popular in the future and my hopes are that it continues to be picked up by self-organizing individuals who are tired of doing development the old way.

Where is Agile going?

In the future, Agile can become a repository closed and suddenly does not continue to give all his wealth to various types of projects and thus build a feedback field more pragmatic and backgrounds. A method must not become a repository to be applied to the letter with an application domain specific, and Agile should not go in that direction. Agile should continue to be an inclusive approach, which is built of good practices of each business to bring real added value. This point must not be forgotten by the experts Agile.

You can find Sara Broca at @sara_broca and blogging on http://blog.quasutra.com

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4 Responses to “The State of Agile – Sara Broca”

  1. Kevin Hise
    November 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Sara, I found a very similar experience trying to introduce Agile/Scrum to the waterfall(-ish) team that was struggling overcome some disorganization and skill deficit and produce a product. It wasn’t a very difficult task to say “lets try something different”, but I found myself very unprepared at coaching the team towards what that “something different” was, as I did not have sufficient “hands on” experience with Agile to be effective. There are roles to play and steps to follow in Agile (I hate the word “process”, but there you have it), and without everyone clearly understanding them and working towards them, it becomes impossible to develop momentum. It would probably help if more at-work training was available, as all I could provide to the team (without transporting them to off-site training) was some video chalk-talks, and articles.

    I still have hopes in implementing Agile concepts where I work. I see Agile as being very similar to how successful programmers work when they produce something, however Agile attempts to bring that method into a team setting where the projects are more complex and require a more diverse talent to accomplish. So you have the focus on greater communication, customer involvement, and peer review, etc.

    Good luck on your projects Sara, and thanks.

    Kevin Hise

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