Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Agile Effect

We are about to finish our second sprint and also the first month of the Agile Pilot project, here in beautiful Chiswick Park.

Pictures taken from

I again see the agile effect in place. Visibility, accountability, value delivering, enthusiasm, pride of work and trust are values where you see the effect immediately.

The process is completely transparent to all stakeholders. First, we built a story map which we have posted in our room. First thing all people see when they enter our room is our BIG STORY MAP.

Then, we all estimated how long the release was going to take. This came to a surprise to many, which were relying on magical estimations performed by .... Who knows, someone. Having to face a more realistic reality was harsh.

Progress is also very visible. Our progress is shown to everyone by means of burndowns and burnups. We also have a big taskboard, where all the team meets to discuss at various time during the day.

The effect continues and is very noticeable in the enthusiasm and the accountability of all team members. How is this enthusiasm triggered? I felt the same when I tried Agile the first time. I wanted to complete the tasks that I had assigned. I cared about our team finishing all stories that we committed to. And I felt that this responsibility came from inside. Nobody was telling me that I needed to complete this and this. And nobody is telling this team either. Yet, I can see everyone debating and trying to help to finish the stories.

I also can see how the lead time has been reduced by suppressing a chain link that didn't add any value, but it added time and confusion. Now the business owners talk directly with the team. This increases the probability of building the right product, it increases trust and it reduces time to market. The business owners are able to build the product they want and they can now trust that developers are doing their best to help achieve this. The developers are able to understand the business reasons behind the different decisions. They can see the purpose and they work knowing what the business owner will earn.

The Agile effect is immediate and is exciting to see!

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