What do you look at to decide if there's an improvement?

April 10, 2018 — Posted by Al Shalloway

I am one of the few Agile thought leaders (if it's not too presumptive to call myself that) who have not signed the Agile manifesto. Don't get me wrong, I've always thought the manifesto was great but I never signed it because it left out something I thought totally critical - systems-thinking.

For whatever reason, a guide for this in the Agile space has been ignored, even resisted. We hear that we're in a complex system and can't make predictions, that we must use an empirical process. Well, we are in a complex system and feedback on experiments are good, but we shouldn't limit ourselves.

I've seen this before. From the 70s-90s we didn't really know how to write good code. Eventually test-first, design patterns, emergent design and more came to light and we defined what code qualities we could use to predict whether code was changeable-loose coupling, strong cohesion, testability, encapsulation of behavior, readability, and lack of redundancy. Automated tests provide safety and therefore greater changeability as well.

What if we based Scrum on an operating model with a way to guide us? See below for 3 links on that. Remember "theory w/o experience is useless, experience w/o theory is expensive"- Deming

  1. How to determine if a change will likely be a good thing: The Value Stream Impedance Scorecard.
  2. Why an operating model can be better than a framework
  3. Scrum/ATDD - an operating model for Scrum with integrated Agile Product Management
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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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