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Michael Norton (doc) is Director of Engineering for Groupon in Chicago, IL. Michael's experience covers a wide range of development topics. Michael declares expertise in no single language or methodology and is immediately suspicious of anyone who declares such expertise. Michael is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 41 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Inflexible Agility

06.24.2014
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Back in May of 2014, I attended ALM Chicago. I had the privilege of closing out the conference with my "Let's Start an Epidemic" talk. The second speaker of the day was Venkatesh Rao. This was his third time speaking at the conference and I quickly came to understand why they kept inviting him back. His talk was daring, extemporaneous, and insightful. There were many pearls in his presentation, but one thing he said in particular struck me. And it's popped back into my head time and time again since that day:

It's a special kind of insane to say people over process and then talk about nothing but process. #almchicago @vgr
— Michael (Doc) Norton (@DocOnDev) May 1, 2014
Yet - this is what we do; the "agile community". We say people over process and talk about nothing but process. We debate the merits of XP, Scrum (ala .org or alliance), kanban, SAFe, and DAD. We debate the value of specific practices. Now and then, you'll even hear someone proclaim, "If you are not doing [insert random practice], then you are not agile."

I find it ironic that so many who claim to be agile are so inflexible in their views.

Let's talk about people more than process. Let's focus on individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. Let's figure out how to best achieve these things in our own unique environments. Let's follow the same kind of thinking that lead to these practices so many now hold rigidly to as agile.

The world has changed. The tools have changed. The dynamics have changed. There is more to learn.
Published at DZone with permission of Michael Norton, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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