April 4, 2015 // By Mark Smith
As a company that successfully develops software using a form of Agile, we often get asked if we do Agile coaching. The short answer is no. The correct answer is yes. Search for Agile books in Amazon and there are thousands of results. If you want to learn the theory of Agile, buy a book or two. If you want to learn Agile, live it day-to-day on an Agile project.
Learning Agile from a book or from a coach who preaches on the theory of how to deliver software using Agile is like putting your life in the hands of a surgeon who learned how to perform surgery from a book or from a classroom lecture. Ask a surgeon if everyone’s organs are in the same location and if cutting through the fat and muscle to get to the desired area is exactly the same for all surgeries. The answer will be no. There are differences between all of us; some are subtle, some are radical. Learning how to navigate these differences is why surgeons spend years as residents working side-by-side with experienced surgeons learning to solve the problems presented to keep the patient alive.
Anyone who has done a software project knows that delivering software is hard. Depending on the study you read, software projects fail from 50%-85% of the time. Thankfully surgeons have a much higher success rate. Perhaps we should learn that while books and lectures can provide a foundation of knowledge, delivering an Agile project successfully is about working with an expert day in and day out to work around the subtle and radical challenges a real project can present.
In surgery, the surgeon has a team that supports the surgical process. There are other physicians, nurses, and technicians working as a team to deliver the desired result. If any one of these team members fails, the entire procedure could fail. Having a strong project manager who knows Agile without the supporting team (BA’s, development leaders, developers, QA, etc.) who understand the process likely will not yield the best result. Like the surgeon the most effective surgical team members have been mentored by experienced professionals to ensure that they know their role and can perform effectively as a part of the team.
Do we do Agile coaching? No. Can we help clients learn how to do Agile by leading a team comprised of our experienced professionals partnered with client resources to live a project and learn how to work every day to cut through the fat and preserve the muscle to deliver desired result? Absolutely.
To learn more about Magenic and how we can work with our customers, click here. If you’d like to contact us directly, email us or call us at 877-595-8315.