The Agile Tribe

It may not be pure Agile, but…

on September 2, 2009

Author: Andy Marks

Today I was reminded how much the Agile way of thinking can lead to behaviour you would expect from people who are truly exceptional at their jobs …

The Office Manager of our company takes care of many of the travel bookings for our consultants. This person, who shall be referred to as JWP for the remainder of this post to provide anonymity from all apart from those who know her, had been processing a consultant travel request to attend some training. Via the osmotic communication available in an open space work environment, JWP was aware that another consultant was booked for the same training but she hadn’t received their requests for travel as yet. So she asked the consultant in question when the request was coming in and, sure enough, the consultant had no knowledge that she was flying next week. A couple of emails later and all potential problems were averted.

And this oversight was picked up by someone who needn’t necessarily have bothered – if she’d more rigidly interpreted her responsibilities.

So what’s the correlation here between this outstanding example of customer service and anything Agile related?

  • If JWP was a developer who saw a defect in another developer’s piece of code, she would have alerted that person before that defect was picked up by any downstream testing process
  • If JWP was a tester, she would make sure that every story being played was honouring the T in INVEST and had valid acceptance criteria
  • If JWP was an analyst writing stories, she would continually refine the way over time she was writing stories to ensure that the consumers of the stories were only getting relevant information
  • And any one of a number of other scenarios where people define their role on a delivery team as delivering production ready code, rather than just analysis, development or testing.

JWP is living the Agile values (none of which are unique to Agile, btw) in her job and our company is the beneficiary.


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