I got a tweet this morning about the new VersionOne "State of
Agile Development Survey" in which the re-tweeter used hashtags like #shocking and
#fail. Looking for a good laugh, I clicked on over to the survey, and realized I #liked the survey
and I thought it was #interesting and #helpful to me. I didn't find anything that jumped out
to me as a #failure in a particularly #horrifying way. Then for a moment I thought maybe I am not
one of the #Agile Cool Kids. Of course the moment was brief and I bounced back quickly--please
as I thought it over, I realized I myself used the phrase "that's CRAZY" yesterday
for a perfectly reasonable management reaction to a difficult personnel situation on a team.
Have you ever thought about how much elitism and scorn we carry around with us in the Agile world?
Every question becomes a target for someone to poop on, as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would say.
Do you use written requirements? Aren't
you collocated? Do you still have silos? Do you still have
a PMO? Does your firm have management? Are you working
for The Man? How many Agile Manifesto signers do you know?
Do they think you're cool? Are you still using Sharpies
withcapsinstead of the ones that click? It goes on and on.
On the other hand, one thing we do too infrequently is stop to listen to each other and to our
clients. By "listen," I mean more than just "waiting until the other person stops
talking before getting to say what you are dying to say." You may be surprised if you
actively listen to what other people are saying, rather than thinking you know what they are saying,
because they've said it 1000 times before. Did you know--stay with me--that people only
hear between 25-50%
of what you say? (You skipped that, didn't you?). Listening is a good skill to
have, and being agile doesn't make you exempt from having to do it. In fact, the fast pace of
most agile projects and their reliance on spoken communication make real listening vital (at least until
you know your fellow team members well enough so that you really do know what they're going to say
all the time). (KIDDING!)
Just stop. Listen.
It's okay to feel distress on behalf of others who don't share your point of view, but
it's not ever going to be productive to poop on them.