November 30, 2009

Making the Mental Leap to Agile

Filed under: Uncategorized — heratech @ 7:26 pm
Tags: ,

Goldfish jumping out of his bowlI figured out a long time ago that I like structure and order. Being organized (some might say anal retentive) is one of the qualities that makes me a good technical writer. But it also means that I’m way out of my comfort zone as I’m adapting to the changes that Agile has brought to my workplace.

However, every now and then something happens that makes me think maybe I’m actually adjusting better than I think. During the Sprint Retrospective for our first Sprint, I was surprised to find myself talking someone else *out* of writing documentation.

We were discussing document reviews in our Sprint Retrospective, and one of the developers said that it would make it easier for him to perform reviews if he knew the document structure in advance. He wanted to create templates for all of the documentation that the team might possibly create. He ran over to the white board and started making a list of all the different types of documents that we could possibly think of writing, requirement documents, design documents, functional specs, and on and on. His list contained probably 15 – 20 different document types.

As I stared at his list, I found myself saying, “That’s not very Agile.”



  1. A BA on my team explained that for him the transition to agile meant he was forced to become ‘super-organized.’

    Comment by Craig Brown — December 3, 2009 @ 12:35 am | Reply

  2. That’s funny Craig how everything good in life is being attributed to Agile, even upper management is nagging for Agile like kids (see Are We Agile Yet). Unbelievable, some people believe that Agile is like magic, just adopting it will transform the whole organization and will get products to be delivered much faster. Hence, when people are disappointed because of bad implementation, they blame the methodology (which is very easy, since it can’t talk back).

    Comment by PM Hut — January 27, 2010 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

    • Bob, thanks for the link. I loved the line “Are they looking for a blessing “Yea, thou art Agile. Now go forth and Scrum.”?”

      I think that people adopt Agile because they think it will address their organizational pain points. But just like the solution to being overweight is diet and exercise instead of some magic pill, the solution to organizational problems involves honest assessment and lots of hard work.

      Comment by heratech — January 27, 2010 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

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