What Is Agile?

What is agile? What is agility? Who is it for? Why? Where did this come from ? What about we put a little clarity for a simpler and more direct and real understanding?  Alexandre Frédéric Joly have a proposition for you:

An agnostic and objective introduction

Agile is a set of 4 values and 12 principles that give people, teams and organizations a foundation that will help them to make decisions that result in better software development, products and services delivering a high-quality customer experience and satisfaction as well as providing a better world of work with satisfying stakeholders & employee experience.  Agile is NO Methodology nor Framework.  We hope these values and principles, however, will enable you to create what’s best for organizing your work for a better and smarter future!

– Alexandre F. Joly Inspired by Mike Beedle and Mark Shead.

7 basic things agilist and new adopters should know!

Extracted, inspired, and enhanced from an article from Jason Little here
Adapted & Enhanced by Alexandre F Joly, the  Agile Scrum Lounger.
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There are some basics you absolutely need to know about Agile.  So, go ahead, on the beach, at a park, or near your fireplace and go through those readings that would give you the objective agnostic definition and idea of what is agile and should spark your mind to become a catalyst of agility at your workplace.

The world of work isn’t changing, it’s evolving by adapting to new generation of people in the workforce, to new mindsets of user and customer experience, and to new ways of doing business (#H2H)
Creating products, services, and solutions via product management #NOPROJECTS! management!

Let’s start your agile journey on the right foot.  Shall we People? Ready to Dare Real Agile?

Section One:  Origins & The Sources

1) The Agile Manifesto: http://agilemanifesto.org  Go read it, even read it in your own language, available in 80+ languages.
Read the history of why, and how, it came to be. Oh, and don’t skip the principles.

Then listen to Agile Uprising’s interviews of 13 of the 17 Manifesto signatories.  Mike Beedle was my Mentor and Coach who died in a tragic event in Chicago on March 23, 2018.

2) The Scrum Guidehttp://scrumguides.org Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber created Scrum in 1993/1995 (depending on whom you want to believe, even though Jeff started to pick some ideas from Lean Computer Programmers since 1986) and they don’t hate each other anymore so The Scrum Guide has been consolidated after they split their efforts between Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org 

Scrum is easy to understand, hard and disruptive to put into action, however very feasible: See it here

3) Kanban: Read Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Business by David Anderson. He was the first to write about using Kanban in software. While you’re at it, read Personal Kanban by Jim Benson, the arguable creator of Kanban.

4) DevOps :  Read What is DevOps : Infrastructure as code from Mike Loukides provides an incisive look into this new world of operations, where IT specialists are becoming part of the development team as result of almost 20 years of Agile and Lean Software development. In an environment with thousands of servers, these specialists now write the code that maintains the infrastructure. Even applications that run in the cloud have to be resilient and fault-tolerant, need to be monitored, and must adjust to huge swings in load.

Mike Beedle explaining What is Agile at the Enterprise Scrum conference in Chicago, October 2017

Section Two :  The Practices & Patterns

5) Extreme Programming: Read Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck,  then watch Kent Beck’s ’20 Years Later’ talk on XP. While you’re at it, read about the C3 project which becomes famous as the ‘birth project’ of Extreme Programming.

6) “Agile Testing” – Read Brian Marick’s original post here, and Lisa Crispin’s awesome refresher here. I put ‘Agile Testing’ in quotes because testing is a team sport. Don’t use this as a way to make your testers agiler, that’s just dumb! Literally.   Oh, and Grammarly said, yes to using ‘agiler’ instead of ‘more agile’.

Section Three:  The Thinkers & Sparkers

7) Read everything by Jerry Weinberg. Who sadly, just passed away on August 7th, 2018.
Well, that might take a lifetime, so start with these. Just about everyone who’s considered to be an ‘agile thinker’ (whatever that means) has been influenced by Jerry in one way or another.  It does for me, on top of Mike Beedle and Steve Denning.  Will talk more about them after you’ve tried some sprints with a certain satisfaction!

Honorable Mention: Look up the Manifesto authors in your spare time.  These guys compromise in 2001 to make us move onward in togetherness!

Why Write This and share it with my trainee, coachee, and clients?

More and more people are getting introduced to agile in big corporate settings via big frameworks and have no idea what the history of agile is and that what hit them is only based on flavored “opinion”  by some con artist…

As your coach, I want you to have the facts and more over the best experience for you and for you to provide the best to your clients and users.

To enhance the human experience!

Also, instead of talking about me in my experience as your new coach, I just reassured you of my path that, I went through those 7 things on this list and they are foundational in nature, table stakes if you will.   If someone hasn’t heard of them, you sure as hell shouldn’t be coaching a team or organization on Agile.  I do and I can.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with the glut of methods/tools/processes/frameworks that have been invented since 2001, albeit those are not the places to look first.

Most of us old dogs moved on from agile years ago, but now that the rest of the business world is catching up, we’ve had to make Agile modern, take Agile back, and Rise Up against the evil corporations who seek only to monetize Agile, or use Agile to beat their teams into submission.  I am here, with you and with a passion to prevent this to happen to you, if you wish to innovate!

So voilà!   Hope you’d enjoy this introduction.   I won’t write any other LONG email I will go back to my agile principles of meeting you face to face.

Although, you’re free to follow me on LinkedIn and my Podcast to read, watch everything I share, and contribute to the community as an extension to your agile adoption.

8)Indeed, continuous discoveries of new ways, of learning, are always on the move from now to new, improving, we hope for the better and making us wiser.
Stay tuned for 8 more things, advance, early adopters, disruptors, and innovators, we have in store for you with Business Agility, Conscious Leadership, a Decentralized path, and more.

The Beginning of Scrum & agile manifestion Story with Jeff Sutherland


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