I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for quite some time, until I finally resolved to do it on the occasion of my talk at Agile 2011 and on the account of all the enthusiasm surrounding this excellent conference – especially this year in which we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Agile Manifesto.
Also, after all the time I spent coaching teams in organizations of different sizes and cultures, as well as after my studies on how people interact in pairs and groups, I now feel that I have enough to share to start writing about it.
So here it is, the Beyond Agile website and blog.
“Dude, why the name Beyond Agile?”
A short answer is that, in my opinion, there is much more to Agile software development than techniques, processes, practices, tools and values.
Another answer is that, although the very first value of the Agile Manifesto is “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools” I think that we, as a world-changing industry, haven’t yet reached that goal and we still pay a lot more attention to the latter part of that sentence rather than to the former.
Things are changing, though.
Just take a look, among the others, at the work of Lyssa Adkins or Esther Derby, or check out the appropriately-titled book “Individuals and Interactions” by Ken Howard, or “Pragmatic Thinking and Learning” by Andy Hunt and you’ll realize that we are witnessing the born of a new movement that really places people at the center of the IT industry and of the way it works.
The actors in this movement spend at least the same amount of energy on understanding individuals and interactions than they spend on understanding processes and tools. This is not just out of their good heart, passion and attention for us humans, but also and mainly because this approach brings forth a series of very concrete and favorable business outcomes.
About my approach
If I had to describe, in just a few paragraphs, my own approach to placing people at the heart of IT, I’d probably say that it’s based mainly on two concepts:
- the first one is that I see software development as a systemic, empirical activity (as opposed to a sequential, deterministic one); and I’d like to add that, although I find some use in applying the theory of complex adaptive systems to IT teams, that’s not what I mean by “systemic” – but more on this later
- the second concept is that, when working and dealing with teams, I find that each individual’s capacity and willingness for self-development is fundamental to the well-being of the whole team and, therefore, to the entire organization and to all the stakeholders
What’s in here for you
What I want to share with you here is mainly my experiences, insights and opinions about the central role of healthy individuals and teams in the software development industry.
- why this is so important for our business and for the society which we serve
- practical ways of improving the quality of your workplace and of your products
- references and pointers for more in-depth coverage of what I talk about here
What’s in here for me
Well, the most relevant thing I’m hoping to get from this blog is your feedback. I must say that some of the ideas I want to share here, although proven worthy in my experience and in fields other than IT, are not yet common in our industry. So having you, dear reader, as a sounding board is really valuable to me.
Oh, and BTW, I may also decide to start working on a book project based on these ideas, so your contribution, along with your name, might also end up there. But frankly, that’s too early for me to say.