Do you see what I see?

December 21, 2009 CollabNet VersionOne

Agile project management has finally started to grow up and mature. On the heels of multiple training and coaching engagements, one thing I have learned is that agile has certainly made its way into enterprise level application development. Software development tools have evolved, and people have changed the end delivery method for getting things done. One constant that has held true throughout the test of time is the capability to work in an environment where everything is visible.

Many agile organizations struggle with the prospect that visibility and transparency may not help everyone see eye to eye. The fact is, even though agile, Scrum, XP and the like have all taken monumental steps toward enterprise level adoption, the key to organizational success remains establishing and maintaining a solid foundation. One core success factor remains the ability to retain transparency and keep focus on the ability to inspect and adapt. This is not intended to be confused with scope creep or gold plating.

In fact, one of the biggest hurdles I run into when agile starts to grow is the inability of the organization to learn from and accept the nature of what change has presented. Although from a business perspective we may all still see things a little bit differently, we need to learn how to keep our focus and learn from the error in our path. We need to take on the pressure of increased visibility and treat it as an opportunity for growth.

Whether our team is just passing through storming and beginning to norm, or just beginning to form and has not reached this monumental step, we need to teach people that it is better to see eye to eye, and that even though the road may not always be a primrose path, the path we take will continue to teach us to be the best we can be with regard to agile project management. Enterprise level agile adoption is not always an easy sell, but neither is any process that may require us to refocus and slow down a bit.

Let us each take a step back and a deep breath. Even though we may not be resolute in our belief that complete transparency will lead to enhanced process scenarios, we will quickly grow to understand that success relies on our ability to accept these core fundamentals.

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