Imagine you’re in you car and you’re going full speed on the highway. You are listening to a traffic announcement in the radio, telling you, that your planned route is jammed. You know it is the shortest route to your destination, but you are in a hurry to get there fast. What do you do?
As human beings we have to make choices like this hundreds of times, everyday. Sometimes we make the choice instictively and other times we have to think for a moment, using our common sense, and evaluating the context we are in to make the best decision.
I will dare to say, that each single one of us, who have experienced this scenario, found themselves considering alternatives. I assume most of us could easily see ourselves taking the first exit, finding an alternative route around the jam, to get to the destination fast, even though it took extra kilometers to get there. We inspect the situation, adapt to the new known conditions and we make the turn off the high way.
My point here is that for most of us, being agile, in our daily life comes pretty natural, when it is about daily life events. When it comes to being agile in a software development environment it seems to be a bit harder. We seek help in methodologies and frameworks, such as Scrum. Which is not a bad thing. There just seems to be a misinterpretation going on, that following Scrum, makes you Agile. It is pretty far from the truth.
The shortest way to finding out what agility in the software development business is all about, go to agilemanifesto.org. And then remember Scrum is just one way of getting there. If you blindly follow Scrum or other methodologies, and cannot see it from other angles, chances are that you and your team will just become a slave of the system. And never achive “agility” which, in my eyes, should be your primary goal!
Scrum might work for you “out of the box”, and that’s great. Others may need to tweak it a bit, and that’s great. And other’s may find and alternative, such as Kanban, which is also great. But whatever you do, don’t just fall into following your desired method blindly. The context matters!
So when you’re driving the Scrum Highway, and you find out that the road is blocked, it might be beneficial for you to stop and think, use you common sense and evaluate the context, to find out if you should stay on the planned route or take the next exit and find an alternative route.