Sunday, August 26, 2007

Writers Write

A mere week or so after first mentioning my idea of writing an Agile book, I've produced about four thousand words for said project. It's been enjoyable so far, although I'm doing a lot of re-writing as I go along! So in that sense, it's going more slowly than I would've expected.

Here's a brief excerpt from what I've written so far (which is of course likely to change before I'm finished with it, based on how things are going):

"Even though I’ve only read about it, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the best way to “go Agile” is to have the people at the bottom of the Org Chart be the ones who decide they want to do it. And that reminds me of an old Steve Martin joke, which goes something like:

“Want to know how to make a million dollars? That’s easy!

Step One: Get a million dollars.

Step Two: …”

In other words, if you’re in a company that’s gone Agile as the result of a Grass Roots Movement, this book is probably of limited use to you. You may still need some help – although you may in fact be doing just fine! – but in all likelihood my problems won’t be your problems. The reason I say this is: many of the challenges we faced came about because Agile was being driven down from the top.

From what I’ve read, when Agile adoption starts up from the bottom (organizationally-speaking), it more naturally seems to start slowly, and build some momentum in that corner of the company or this one, and before too long management types are noticing improvements in those corners and are curious to find out more. In other words, the first impression is, “Agile good!” Maybe that’s just a myth, but regardless, it sure sounds like a smoother transition than what I experienced! So, if, as Steve Martin would say, you have the option of just going out and getting a million dollars - or having Agile slowly brought into your company by the coders and testers – take the money and run! By which I mean, consider yourself lucky and make the most of it."

Depending on the demand for it (!), I may post other snippets in the future, as things continue to progress. So start those cards and letters coming... ;-)

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