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You all know that I love agile and all things agile. Every now and then its a good exercise to question the things we hold so dearly. I figure this might be an interesting thought process so I’m blogging as I think through it.

QuestionBeliefs300

Can I question the agile manifesto? Mmm perhaps I should take a more aggressive approach and defend the opposite. That might open my mind to more ideas. Here goes:

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.Through this work we have come to value:

I suppose you are entitled to your opinion. I am sure there are many people in the world who believe they have uncovered better ways of developing software. Wow. This is quite difficult – feel like I’m dissing my community. Pushing on …

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

So I totally get that people are more important than machines and ideologies. But we are building SOFTWARE. Thus we are computer people, who love online tools. Most of us run our lives using these tools. We trust the tools we develop with, usually more than the random person the company hired to work with us in a team. As a developer I am good at what I do – so let me do it. I don’t want to do your job of analysis and understanding. I want to do my job of making it work.Β Just had a lightbulb moment in understanding some developers anti-agile stance.

Working software over comprehensive documentation

I believe in noting things down – when I don’t I inevitably forget about them. Thinking through a problem space and carefully noting all the things that need to be done is due diligence. When you think through a problem and spend time there, actually doing the work to solve the problem is easy. Of course I still want working software, I just think having a well thought through document will solve 90% of the problems.Β This was a bit more tricky, I really don’t like verbose documents. But if I think of it as a thinking tool I can make sense of it.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

I know the customer is always right, but blindly following the customer – who probably doesn’t know what he wants without a contract is business suicide. How will you make money if there is no agreement (legally binding) of how you are trading services for cash. As a customer I want to know how much something is going to cost me before I commit to paying. I need to talk to other vendors and compare prices. I need to know what you will give me for my hard earned money as opposed to someone else.Β Ok getting into the flow of things now, this one felt easier. It helped to think of my upcoming house renovation and what I’m needing as a customer.

Responding to change over following a plan

Everything I do in life has a plan. Yes they change – but not by much and only when something goes horribly wrong. And my plans cater for some ‘problem’ time. Following a plan gives me certainty to whether I’m on track or not. It lets me know and plan for other things in the near future. Of course I want to respond to change – but only if it affects my plans end goal not for the sake of change. This one was much easier. I do believe in plans, and I love responding to change, however I’ve seen how quickly a project can get messed up by only responding to change.

EXERCISE OVER!

OK so lets see what I’ve learned.

1) It’s fairly easy to justify almost any sentence and provide examples of why you’re ‘right’.

2) Even the things I believe in wholeheartedly can be wrong at times.

3) I shouldn’t judge those who believe differently. I should seek to understand – as they probably make a lot of sense.

That was fun, and challenging πŸ™‚ What do you believe in? Can you question and defend an opposing argument?

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