Levent Gurses has an article, 10 Mistakes in Transitioning to Agile, in the Dec 2006 Dr. Dobbs Journal. He writes about the most common mistakes that companies make when transitioning from “legacy development methodologies” to agile ones. In this series of short articles for the winter holidays, we’re looking at each of the ten mistakes he identified. Enjoy the light reading, and don’t think too much about work.
Mistake 2: Go Fast to Go Fast
In this mistake, Levent warns us that “just doing it” without training and explaining won’t work. Everyone needs to understand exactly what agile is and what it isn’t.
Our experience has been that people and teams operate the most effectively when they understand the context in which they are operating. Give them a view of the big picture, and help them understand how all the pieces fit together.
In a manufacturing assembly line, you can get away with people who understand their job. With a simple understanding of what they can depend on, and what others depend on them for, they can do their jobs. You cripple people’s ability to innovate or contribute outside of their role when you do this.
And software development, especially agile software development is not an assembly line. Understanding how it all works is critical to doing each piece well.