Monday, September 14, 2009

The Agile Mantra

The Agile Mantra

It's undeniable that our professional life creates paradigms and structures that we then follow in our day to day life. Agile has influence me. Schwaber's and Poppendieck's book's concepts come to my mind frequently, in aspects of my life that have nothing to do with software development.

For example

- I am constantly trying to eliminate waste - What is waste in my everyday? Well, plans that keep hanging in my head forever. They are waste, because I keep thinking about them and I never do them. Also, I tried to do things well for the first time. If I don't do them well, it is highly probable that I will have to in the future (they are bugs!).

- Value Stream Mapping - Whenever I am following a process, I try to optimize. Look for the places I'm just waiting, try to identify things to improve etc. I am talking about the most stupid things like the process I follow to lock my bike when I go to work (including where I hang the key after locking, to be able to find it faster when I get out!)

- Continual Introspection - I am continually trying to find better ways of doing things. It doesn't matter whether it is the diswhashing, the path to the train/work or a more serious task. I continually introspect and act on the results.

- Look for the value on the things I do - I started to ask the question "what is the value of this" instead of doing things automatically. This was a big change. I was very used to doing the things they told me to do, not inquiring much on the reasons. Today, I have a much more critiquing attitude.

Maybe, I am going to far, but Beck's TDD book has influenced me in the way I tackle a problem. Before, I wanted to get it all solved in one shot. Now I do it in steps, taking checkpoints in the middle. Other things that I value more now are quality. Bake quality in or do things better. I value communication and I understood the difficulty of it.. What else? Well, this whole Agile world has an impact on our everyday life, right agilists?

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