Monday, May 4, 2015

The Agile Reformation coming to a cubicle near you.

Agile is just another Reformation
Martin Luther has nothing on us.
I am going to be missing the fun and excitement of the Scrum Gathering in Phoenix this week.  I am a little disappointed about this but it gives me an opportunity to concentrate on some changes taking place at my office and at my home business.  It looks like the unveiling of my Ninja Lion Sensei Master Cobra T-shirt will have to wait another year.  This week I want to talk about change and innovation.

I have been reading a fantastic book by James Burke called, “The Day the Universe Changed.”  In it, he talks about the changes in science and technology which caused the historical, political, and social change in Western civilization.  What strikes me most about the reading is how someone at certain points of history someone said, “this is not working!” and they went about finding ways of thinking that would work.  If it was not for this kind of exasperation with the status quo, I doubt we would have such modern innovations as germ theory, global telecommunications, and Snapchat.

Kidding aside, I think we are in the midst of another one of these flux points which Burke was so good pointing out.  I call it the Agile Reformation.   Since the fall of the Berlin wall and the spread of neo-liberal economics, there have been numerous counter movements to this “End of History.”  Unfortunately, many of these counter-movements have been backward-looking drawing on Communism, Socialism, and religious fundamentalism.  Agile with its focus on improvement, sustainability, and collaboration seems like a positive direction for the twenty-first century and I am glad that I am part of this movement.

This seems very pie in the sky but please hear me out.  We are confronted with numerous problems in Western Civilization.  Income inequity, climate change, pollution, and racial unrest are social and technological problems which are solvable.  The dreary nature of working for a modern corporation is solvable.  They are solvable because in a world of seven billion people there are plenty of smart folks who want to solve these problems.  This is where Agile comes in.  The principles of agile and the agile manifesto act as a framework for problem-solving.

I am very proud to be part of this way of thinking and leading change within my organization.  It is not going to be easy but if we do it correctly we can institute amazing changes and reforms one iteration at a time.  I hope you are with me on this.

Until next time.

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