Agile an Unexpected Journey Compendium Book

Agile an Unexpected Journey. A Compendium of Agile Biographies

How exactly did people get involved in Agile, what did then learn that galvanised them and propelled them into a career in it? This compendium of Agile Biographies by practitioners expresses their experiences and their vision for the future.

Without editing the Agile Practitioners will answer the same five questions listed below.

1. How did you hear about Agile and how did you first get involved?
2. What was your first experience of applying Agile and what did you learn?
3. How has your experience and practice of Agile evolved?
4. Can you share any pivotal work or case studies?
5. Where do you go from here.

In my chapter I will show Agile is a journey not a destination and describe my journey in Agile since 2003. It will express what I have done, what works, what has not worked and what I have learned. It will show the connection between Agile and Human Centered Design and how they are symbiotic for the betterment of humanity.

Compiled by Karl Smith
Published by Polymath Knowledge, Polymaths Series, Book 2
Distributed by Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Due out January 2021
E-book: ISBN 978-1-8382370-4-2

Due out February 2021
Paperback: ISBN 978-1-8382370-5-9

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Speeding up the Wrong Work DevOps Maturity in Business Decisions #BusinessAgility

It’s a fact that common sense it not that common and is often not a factor except in reflection after the fact. If we could simply learn from each other rather than rely upon a uniqueness agenda, businesses would stop creating the same failure points with new language and excuses around it.

Digital is a form of communication with customers, where technology is the mechanism

Accepting that digital and its underwriting technologies is the common parlance of success in our world would greatly decrease business fostered failure. Additionally, if business would participate in digital and technology, joining the team, then the choice of work would get considerably better. After all its impossible to read people’s minds to understand their intent let alone their exact need, but if people are all in it together they work at being understood and understanding in a way that is foreign to hierarchical businesses.

Conspicuous success never belongs to one person or a figurehead but is the culmination of many people flowing and moving together over a problem or outcome statement. The business driver for success through innovation in existing capabilities, the desire to drive engagement and in many ways validation of existence create a huge level of waste. There are now other ways to do things that add value to the company and validate its purpose and more importantly its people. DevOps having started in engineering is spreading from the tactical into the strategic. However, without a bottom to top transformation in business values DevOps will only deliver the wrong work quicker.

Businesses need quality not quantity of ideas

What’s essential in Business is quality not quantity of ideas, anyone can come up with an idea, but one that meets not just one but several outcomes for several actors (business, shareholders, regulators, customers etc.) holds quality at its core. These are the ideas that deliver conspicuous success, but they don’t arrive fully formed and ready to go, they need a cross organisation effort to refine them. The quality of ideas should be able to be challenged by any part of a business and still go forward on their merit not the position of the originator. What about those that can’t, well they need to be worked through, modelled combined with other ideas, placed on hold sometimes, the critical path is to only commit design and production capability that is the right work at the right time.

Thinking first, not Digital first

The people doing the thinking around ideas should be the people who can add value to them, by refining them, by challenging them, by modelling them as outcomes (without solutions or delivery mechanisms), by taking them to targeted customers* to test the ideas. In this way ideas can be checked to see that they are the right ones, only then can they be converted into increments of minimum viable experience (MVE).

Service Design*, not Design Thinking

Only by having ideas added to and evaluated by people who can implement and understand at the coal face their impact can ideas really be understood and prioritised. The final barrier to success is always ego, even putting the whole capability of an organisation into defining, refining and producing the work, will only be effective if leadership will trust their own hiring and release products and services to the market without interfering with them.  Delivering the minimum viable experience (MVE) will ensure customers and colleagues are not confused about the business intent and the communication remains “here’s something useful”. Until the work is fully understood and derived from the right ideas at the right time Businesses will continue to expose their lack of maturity and DevOps will speed up the delivery of the wrong work.

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