Jim Highsmith said, “At the core, I believe Agile Methodologists are really about ‘mushy’ stuff… about delivering good products to customers by operating in an environment that does more than talk about people as our most important asset but actually ‘acts’ as if people were the most important, and lose the word asset.”
This simple but profound idea is the motivation behind Process Second. Process Second is a software development process that focuses on UP essentials, manages development using Scrum, and gives teams the ability to achieve organizational goals by using their strengths. I started developing the process in January and most of the high-value stories are done!
The project has a weekly release schedule so if you have a People First account – Now you can do the mushy stuff too.
I have found that organizations pursue agile initiatives from two directions. Organizations want to be agile because they have software engineering problems to solve (e.g. staff turnover, buggy software, brittle software) or they want to be agile because they have business problems to solve (e.g. customer dissatisfaction, loss of revenue, loss of market share).
I have also found that no matter what direction you start, once you have one set of problems fixed, the other raises its ugly head begging for attention – even if you didn’t have recognizable issues before. An inescapable side effect of becoming agile in one area is that it creates and/or magnifies problems in the other.
I was recently talking to a friend who is helping to lead the agile adoption in their organization. They said that their organization is consistently executing 3 week sprints that include enough testing to produce potentially deployable increments. YEAH! They said that their organization is ‘priming the pump’, i.e. grooming the product backlog during sprints to prepare for the next sprint (or two). YEAH!
But, they also said that their organization is now struggling with a bloated backlog of requests and issues. BOO! Business problems have raised their head – What should we work on next? What features are important and which ones aren’t? Can you reject requests? How?
I rarely start an organization out with hierarchical requirements. A flat product backlog that supports feature grouping is usually sufficient to start an agile adoption. Yet, within most innovative organizations, there will come a time when a top-down requirements management strategy will become necessary. Frameworks like the one proposed by the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) were developed for just this purpose.
People First presents “Ask the Agile Coach”
This new feature gives you direct access to the Agile Coach who personally (and privately) empowers you to put your strengths to work in the SDLC. The Agile Coach will drive you to win. Certain of their faith in you, they’ll keep pushing you to do better. “Do you really think this is the best you can do?!” But they are not simply cheering or scolding you from the sidelines. Instead they are drawing on their own experience and expertise to help you. They are thrilled to be the one who offers you the secret trick, the new technique or the mind-flipping insight that allows the penny to drop. When you interact with the Agile Coach, you will know they want you to learn, and you will know they want you to act.
The Agile Coach really, really wants you to win, and will never let you off the hook.