Here we go.
In faith I’m taking the leap with no pictures, no bio and no links to other work. Iteration 1.
I took on Agile as a tool and a set of certifications. Little did I know that the methodology simply strengthened my own views on managing people and teams. Its tenants and ceremonies serve to bolster what I’ve struggled to do with project teams for years. The Principles make sense to me. Using the principles as a framework to make decisions makes sense to me. Learning from failure is simply wisdom. I’ve put off blogging about my experiences in Agile for some time for many reasons, the first and foremost being that I approach the methodology practically and not philosophically. My perspective doesn’t leave much room for extensive pontification. I was recently reminded not to discount the value of my own voice. As an agile professional I admit a fair bit of shame in receiving that criticism. In response, here is my voice.
Today, iteration 1, I am an Agile professional with three years of coaching and scrum master experience in software development and nine years of waterfall project management spanning digital marketing to orthopedics. I’ve built websites, managed back end databases, moved infrastructure and dabbled in open innovation and open source development. I am not a developer. In those twelve years I’ve learned the value of managing teams to be smarter than you are, counting on them to produce mind boggling solutions and more than anything else, I’ve learned the power of the Volunteer.
This is the hill I make my stand on, the height from which I can predict to a great degree, the success or failure of a project, Volunteerism. Volunteers are the members of your project that bring more than their eight hour contracts and technical knowledge. They are the members that offer more than the minimum, usually when you least expect it. I argue that Agile methodologies fail without volunteers. I believe that team members should never be assigned to an agile project without first understanding the manifesto, the principles and how vulnerable they’ll be making themselves in the process.
From practices like co-location where we work exposed, to simply welcoming changing requirements late in the process (aka re-work), Agile methodologies require a humility and a vulnerability from its practitioners that can never be encapsulated in a job description. Working this way asks us to volunteer ourselves, our attention, our egos, our willingness to be wrong.
This is the hill I’m standing on. I don’t see a reason to move. I manage volunteers. Its my job to help create volunteers by showing them whats in it for them. This is my voice. This is my blog.
Agile Certified Practitioner