Agile is not just about rules

Agile is not just about rules
Photo by Jodie Cook / Unsplash

I saw that Tweet from Uncle Bob that resonates with something I have been thinking about and have interiorized.

Agile is not simply a mindset. Agile is a set of values, principles, and disciplines that define and support that mindset. Trying to separate the mindset from the values, principles, and disciplines is an abrogation of the mindset.

— Uncle Bob Martin (@unclebobmartin) April 26, 2018

Agile is not doing the same and just naming it different

By what I read, see and hear, too many times it´s overlooked the depth and the reasons for why we do things in a certain way in agile environments. Too many times it is forgotten that the improvements in the product and productivity will never happen if we don´t all change the way we do things neither can be improved at all costs or at any pace.

Agile methodologies are not a more beautiful weapon with the one you can smash your employees to make them work more. This is not about having a new seal to be placed in the door of your office to attract more clients and employees. And also not just a pin for your jacket that says you work in an Agile team if your team is really doing things exactly in the same old fashioned waterfall-ish ways.

The continuous iterations are not sustainable if they are not done counting on the improvement that people freely bring in a healthy environment. All the pair programming will not be very useful if the ones doing are overwhelmed or just don´t want to work together. You can respect all the events, roles and artefacts in Scrum and still don´t have a team: you will just have a group of people following rules.

My vision on what to do

There are many of us that believe that there are other ways to do things. We put a lot of effort and passion to make things work better than before but also do it through more human values. Not just this: we live those values and try to spread them to all our environment.

Agile requires changing. Abandoning attitudes, structures and habits that are just heritages from the industrial revolution but are still highly rooted in people and companies.

I think that mentality, attitude and methodologies can only work if they go hand in hand. Without the method, the changes in ethics and values will not arrive. Without the changes in ethics and values, the method will never really work.

It is hard, yes. None said it was easy. And if someone said it was… he was lying.