Category Archives: agile

Advantage Agile

If you have to highlight one best advantage of agile to the development team member, what is that?. That was a wonderful question that made me think for a while before answering. It is the freedom of the engineer to choose the work he/she wants to do.

In self organizing teams, there is nobody to allocate work, the team members have to choose it by themselves. That is a great opportunity for the engineer to liberate herself from the clutches of the positive or negative halos, perceptions formed in teams where work allocation exists based on the manager’s judgment of the potential of team members.  Even for good managers, it takes a great deal of professionalism to give everyone equal opportunity to restart their career without any biases after the performance appraisals. People get perceived as performers and non performers, and this reflects in the work allocation and has a cascading effect.

Many traditional managers believe that excellence is linked to experience. They think that experienced people must handle complex work.  Excellence is never linked to experience. In a fast changing world, sometimes experience is a burden. In a society which thrives on Matha (Mother), Pitha (Father), Guru (Teacher), Boss Daivam (God); it takes a paradigm shift to thrash the myth that excellence is linked to experience. Agile provides the opportunity for people with potential to demonstrate their mettle to the rest of the world by grabbing these complex work and completing them successfully. In the agile world, stars are born in no time. It does not take years for a star to surface. Even a sprint/iteration can create champions. At least every sprint adds to the reputation of the contributor based on sheer performance.

What are the advantages of agile to engineers?

In teams where work is allocated by the boss, based on the perceived capabilities of the team members, the tendency to cast the members to specific types of work is higher. ‘I know who can do this’ is something we hear everyday in the corporate world. That is okay, if one does not reach the extent of  believing  that others in the team cannot do it. Take it from me, perceptions are very often very wrong. On day 1 of my agile workshops, I tend to form opinions about each participant based on their interaction, dressing etc. At the fag end of the training, I am terribly wrong. Participants surprises me, and that is the best positive kick I get out of my work as a coach. In fact I am waiting for these moments, and the agile way of working have amble opportunities for these kind of surprises, that keeps me moving forward professionally. Agile is the opportunity for people with potential. Since it is highly empirical, the room for error in judgment based on  perceptions is minimal. Grab it, dear engineer, else till you retire others will be telling you what to do and how to do it. Liberate yourself. Agile is the opportunity.

Have a nice weekend.

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