AA and Agile

Agile Agitation is a syndrome that afflicts many and must be identified quickly if it is to have any chance of a cure. angry-1

  1. Symptom: delusional knowledge of basic agile principles. Cure: keep in mind the following intertwined basic principles, viz., communication, openness, goal driven or purposefulness, emergent design/architecture, and much of this is in many ways counterintuitive to a command mode project execution.
  2. Symptom: nervous twitches and hand tremors. Cure: this usually is a novice being put in charge of her first agile project. Only take charge if there is mentor provided, read the many excellent books on agile (only from the masters and not second-hand deliveries), and read the manifesto.
  3. Symptom: aimlessly wandering around seeking an agile issue to tackle, usually nothing to do with the practice of agile. Cure: there is none, in all probability this is a non-practitioner and is a lost cause. If you come across such an individual just throw a morsel of fact/knowledge and he will happily leave you alone, at least for a day or two. Under no condition put such an individual in charge of an agile project, since he only sees problems, he will become part of the problem.
  4. Symptom: lack of sleep, extremes of feeling down or feeling up, tiredness. Cure: this is OK, it is usual a sign that you are in the throes of an agile project execution. Just follow all the right moves, keep checking the product backlog, and the sprint backlog, monitor the velocity, ensure the team continues to work as a team (a gestalt) and not as “n” individuals sharing the same room.
  5. Symptom: you get an uncontrollable urge to address the team members as “grasshopper”. Cure: this usually would suggest you believe you are a “master” of some sort, perhaps a scrum master; it does not much matter whether you are a success or failure at this role. The onset of this symptom is a sign that you have begun to consider the “master” part of your role title as being more valuable than it actually is. You are beginning to believe yourself to be omniscient in nature. You need to come down to earth, get some therapy, and focus on the project.
  6. Symptom: you keep gazing at your PMP certification, trying to draw Gantt charts, and keep reaching for your project management manuals. Cure: there is none, you are in the wrong project, or worse still you are trying to execute an agile project as though it were a waterfall project. Either way this is a “project scam” waiting to happen.

With due deference to the real AA, we suggest the creation of “Agile Anonymous”, an international fellowship of people suffering from agile agitations. There will be no bar to membership of any kind, be it colour, race or education. The only criteria for membership is that you be suffering from agile agitations, we will of course need proof of this fact. There should be a 24/7 site where you can anonymously post your question and get answers from fellow sufferers who have found workarounds or solutions. All the postings will be anonymous; your identity will be protected at all times.

About KM Mukku

Kick-start, build and manage teams in product development (particularly in the financial domain), and enjoy all in adaptive case management, business process design and business process improvement. Currently holding the position of CTO at coMakeIT.
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