A Couple of Agile Questions from the Weekend

Agile Questions

“So, we’re doing this agile thing, correct?” / “So, my understanding of agile is…” – Typically I know where these questions are going, and usually they are from the individuals who have not had the greatest experience in agile. But, I’m glad they are asking me!

After having a healthy discussion with a couple of business partners and friends about agile and the enterprise, we found ourselves discussing a couple of some of the most heard questions (like the ones above) from clients surrounding their understanding of agile.

These are great questions, trust me, I get plenty. I don’t have an answer for every question, but certainly asking questions helps elicit a conversation about how we can help.

So, on to the questions!

“So we’re doing Agile, correct?”

  1. “The absence of up front planning in Scrum gives too much freedom to the customer.”
  2. “Given that the client (or Product in our case) can change anything in the backlog, you can’t have stability in development.”

So why are these common questions not a problem?

  1. As long as vision is clear up front, we can retain value in the project.
  2. Agile does planning as long as we have User Stories.
  3. Stability in development comes from flexible scope (we can always have less features), but not necessarily cost/time (not too flexible). Simple is a better foundation.

Some points to remember from this are:

  1. Business Requirements must include business value and risk.
  2. We must be able to map proposed changes to the backlog with business value.

So, what’s the critical factor here? I would have to say that the crucial element is a clear leader who understand agile well and has been enabled to be vocal about changes necessary. This isn’t always the case, but having the right people in the right places within a business allows positive change to happen. Maybe this is you?

Maybe you need a consultant 🙂

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