Agile? What is it?

August 17, 2017

 

Everyone is talking about Agile.  We get a lot of questions about Agile, such as:"Do you do Agile?", "How do you use Agile?", "How do you deliver your projects using Agile?" etc.

 

It sometimes feels like people are interested in the Agile concept, and have heard a few Agile words (scrum, sprint, epic, scrum master), but it's hard to work out what exactly it "is".

 

To me, the best example of what Agile looks like is found in the police - in a good old fashioned murder investigation like you see on TV.

 

The EPIC - solve the murder and deliver justice to the victims

 

The SCRUM - that daily get together where the various experts assemble and review what they have found so far and what they need to do next.

 

The SPRINT - the plan of action for the next few days

 

Have you noticed that in the police dramas the scrum is made up of various experts that sometimes (TV casting allowing....) has different people there. In reality, the make up of the team changes - depending on what particular expertise is needed and it changes over time, with experts coming ongoing as the need arises. The discussion is all about what has been done, what has been learnt and what to do next. Very Agile.

 

There is also the big visual display with photographs, interconnecting lines and bits of evidence all on display. This SCRUM BOARD is the daily focus and tracks the key details of the EPIC and the SPRINT and allows everyone to see what is happening, what is new and what's next. Very Agile.

 

So, what is Agile?  It's a simultaneously structured and fluid approach to deliver an outcome that brings together the right people at the right time in the right way.  It is about a team working collaboratively to rapidly solve a problem and having the flexibility to adjust, change direction and adapt to the current situation.

 

Does Agile work?  Absolutely!  How have you gone with Agile - do you have any insights to share?  

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