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Topics: Agile, IT Project Management, Leadership
Fr-Agile: Vulnerable, Nebulous, Broken or Damaged --- Agility: Ability to move, think and understand quickly
Network:7252



We have had open season on the word “Agile” for many years now. Recognizing its dilemma’s in the enterprise, many agilest have taken the approach to jettison the term for the more principled word “Agility”. However, the Agile term has been disagreed upon from the beginning and gets used in so many contexts that it has become somewhat vague. Of course, that statement alone could easily be fighting words for the Scrum, Kanban, Lean or XP enthusiast.

The safe word is “Hybrid”, a purposely vague word that allows us the “PM” to give it meaning. I’m fine with this word and it suits me fine, but I’m also fine with the word “waterfall” as I can structure iterative development and incremental reviews within phases based on expert opinion and historical knowledge.

So, the question is this: Where do we go from here; are we going to keep fighting until our given world-view of practice and methods has “won”, or are we going to finally recognize that we are only chartered for one win at a time?

What are your thoughts?
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Network:1513



George -

Recognizing that there is no single "right" way is a core tenet of agility. As you rightly said, a specific team is in the best position to choose their Way of Working (as per Scott Ambler & Mark Lines) so long as that is within organizational standards & policies.

I prefer to separate the use of adaptive lifecycles from operating with an agile mindset. The former is applicable to specific types of projects and there is a lot of readily available info to help companies and teams decide whether such a lifecycle makes sense for their projects. The latter is what we should all be embracing as project complexity continues to increase.

Anti-fragility (not anti-agility) should be what we aspire to as individuals, teams and organizations. Evolving to thrive on higher levels of complexity and chaos rather than attempting to build countermeasures for known-unknowns.

Kiron
Network:1853



There is not a problem with terms definition in people that are using agile but are really using it. There is not a problem on terms definition in pople that "created" the agile movement outside software and inside softwaare. The problem is inside the group of other people that tried to sell something related. The point is easy: people that is interested in agile have to go to the basement, no more than that, and stop reading or following to those that they haven't even read and understood the Manifesto for Agile software development at least. On the other side, there is a big mistake outside there that could be examplified with your statement (I am not saying that you are doing that): people mixing process model, life cycle models and methods all in one. The first step to fail is when you do that.
Network:64



Even if recognizing that there is no single "right" way is a core tenet of agility, I ve seen people and/or organizations who tend to contradict this idea. The discussions about which approach is better can last forever. It certainly depends on the purpose. Moreover, the desire to embrace a certain approach at any cost without the right level of maturity/readiness can lead to failure.
I believe being aware what suits better and choosing the approach responsibly is a healthy start point for any organization.
The term "Hybrid" is indeed vague and I would say also elegant and somehow defensive: it is as if you have to explain why don t you strictly follow one approach or another.
So I don t think we have to go anywhere from here :) . The fact there can be more solutions to one single problem says it all.
Network:263



I like the responses so far.
I hear the word "hybrid" on this forum quite a bit, and I have to wonder what that really means. In my twisted mind, I imagine a project steering committee sitting around and saying, "We want to be adaptive... but not TOO responsive." Or "I like some of the Agile values, but I'd rather have comprehensive documentation than a working product." Or "Please, please don't make me talk to the customer!" (That last one might be realistic.)
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1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Jul 30, 2019 12:07 PM
Stéphane Parent
...
I was once interviewed by the president of a small company for the position of project/program manager. I accepted the position before meeting my future manager. One of the first things she said to me was: "I don't have to talk to the customers. That will be your job."

I summarily sent my resignation letter before I even started on the job. I did not want that kind of a boss.
Network:99877



Jul 30, 2019 8:35 AM
Replying to Wade Harshman
...
I like the responses so far.
I hear the word "hybrid" on this forum quite a bit, and I have to wonder what that really means. In my twisted mind, I imagine a project steering committee sitting around and saying, "We want to be adaptive... but not TOO responsive." Or "I like some of the Agile values, but I'd rather have comprehensive documentation than a working product." Or "Please, please don't make me talk to the customer!" (That last one might be realistic.)
I was once interviewed by the president of a small company for the position of project/program manager. I accepted the position before meeting my future manager. One of the first things she said to me was: "I don't have to talk to the customers. That will be your job."

I summarily sent my resignation letter before I even started on the job. I did not want that kind of a boss.
Network:303



As a young boy at a store with my father, I asked about why the huge variety of brightly colored fishing lures and strange gadgets. His response was that before they can catch a fish, they must first catch a fisherman. Marketing consulting skills is much the same. Everyone wants to differentiate their own products. This is true in leadership, advice on diet, exercise, investing strategies, and fishing tips.

Many customers want a cookbook type approach to solve the problem rather than understanding the theory which can allow them to develop any number of tailored approaches. They might have struggled with "doing agile" and try "being agile" instead based on the advice of some expert. The consultants themselves develop their brand by redefining existing terms or creating their own brand to differentiate it from others.

As project leaders given whatever title, we need to understand that we have a tackle box full of brightly colored lures to choose from and that catching a fish requires knowing which to use and how to use it, not just buying the newest and flashiest one.

Also, don't forget to buy my new book, "Lean Scrum Plus Agile Extreme Six Sigma for Waterfall Frameworks". It has something for everyone and is available at bait and tackle shops everywhere.
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1 reply by George Freeman
Jul 30, 2019 2:11 PM
George Freeman
...
If you can change the name of your book to “How to catch and smoke salmon” and then invite us on a “project manager fishing expedition”, you are guaranteed to have your book fly off the shelves!
Network:7252



Jul 30, 2019 12:31 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
As a young boy at a store with my father, I asked about why the huge variety of brightly colored fishing lures and strange gadgets. His response was that before they can catch a fish, they must first catch a fisherman. Marketing consulting skills is much the same. Everyone wants to differentiate their own products. This is true in leadership, advice on diet, exercise, investing strategies, and fishing tips.

Many customers want a cookbook type approach to solve the problem rather than understanding the theory which can allow them to develop any number of tailored approaches. They might have struggled with "doing agile" and try "being agile" instead based on the advice of some expert. The consultants themselves develop their brand by redefining existing terms or creating their own brand to differentiate it from others.

As project leaders given whatever title, we need to understand that we have a tackle box full of brightly colored lures to choose from and that catching a fish requires knowing which to use and how to use it, not just buying the newest and flashiest one.

Also, don't forget to buy my new book, "Lean Scrum Plus Agile Extreme Six Sigma for Waterfall Frameworks". It has something for everyone and is available at bait and tackle shops everywhere.
If you can change the name of your book to “How to catch and smoke salmon” and then invite us on a “project manager fishing expedition”, you are guaranteed to have your book fly off the shelves!
...
1 reply by Wade Harshman
Jul 31, 2019 9:29 AM
Wade Harshman
...
Sell a course and certification and you'll quickly hook your legal limit of project managers.

CPS - Certified Project Salmon
Network:263



Jul 30, 2019 2:11 PM
Replying to George Freeman
...
If you can change the name of your book to “How to catch and smoke salmon” and then invite us on a “project manager fishing expedition”, you are guaranteed to have your book fly off the shelves!
Sell a course and certification and you'll quickly hook your legal limit of project managers.

CPS - Certified Project Salmon

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