This short cartoon answers the question "What Is Agile?" and will give you the background to understand the Agile principles and values and how they can help you and your team work together more efficiently. If you'd like a free book on this topic, please see below...
I've published a book called "Starting Agile" that is designed to help you start your team's Agile journey outright. You can buy a copy from Amazon, but I'm giving free copies away to my subscribers from YouTube. You can signup for a copy at the link above.
When I said beliefs I meant more along the lines that a team of bridge engineers all have a shared set of beliefs regarding the breaking points of various materials. This gives them the ability to reason together about the best way to solve problems because they have a shared set of core principles to start with.
If you are trying to build software and half the team believes that talking face-to-face is inefficient and the other half thinks it is vital, you are going to run into problems deciding how to work together.
Instead of building out the entire data access layer, an Agile developer would build just the pieces they need for the specific function they are creating. So even if they know they are going to eventually need 100 tables, they would just build the 3 they need for this feature.
I'm sorry my voice makes you feel like that. I've tried to take some of the constructive criticism to improve other videos. I've got another video coming out next week that isn't a cartoon that I'd like to get your feedback on to see if I've been able to make things better or worse.
So this is what I got - "Make smarter decisions by making smarter decisions." and don't forget "Be flexible enough to change from a less smart decision to a more smart decision." P.S. "Don't micromanage, and use good judgement."
My life will never be the same.
At MindSpring, every decision in the company was made based on their CVBs (Core Values & Beliefs - a set of principles & values). This was at least a decade before some millennial came along and decided to name this practice Agile. lol
I thought the point of the Agile Manifesto was it was a bunch of people with years of experience trying to get a set of values and principles together that they all felt would significantly improve the way people develop software. I don't think anyone was claiming that the ideas had never been seen before. Instead they were based on decades of experience.
Thanks for sharing! I wonder why there are so many differences in explaining agile? Some say it's a methodology other that it's a framework and now principles & values. I understand your point but I don't understand how is it possible that everyone is telling something else...
We have an article on our blog about agile and it would be great to get your feedback (it's about agile methodology) https://zenkit.com/en/blog/agile-methodology-an-overview/
Mark, thanks so much for getting back to me, I am currently studying for the PMP exam, as I need to expand my knowledge as a PM, but I am in NY, and want to apply this to product related items much smaller than skyscrapers (I wish). So for example, for someone who oversees portfolios of programs and projects, will this apply? So far the PMBOK seems to be OK, bit redundant, but I am just wondering if I am wasting my time with PMI? I really appreciate any feedback, it's so hard to get straight answers sometimes!
Great question! The Agile values and principles specifically talk about delivering software, but it isn't hard to adapt them to other types of work. The idea of delivering something to the customer on a regular basis works with a lot of knowledge type work. It is probably going to look a lot different if you are trying to apply the Agile principles to something like skyscraper construction.
Agile is very tricky. I feel it only works when everyone knows the process. I have used Agile and see it work great and sometimes it has failed. My company used Apgent.com for our Agile transformation, we are doing far more releases in a shorter amount of time.
Very educational and and tbh entertaining as well.. One question..Can I use your video on my channel just for EDUCATIONAL purpose I will strictly not use it for monitization or whatever they call it..It wud be just for educational purpose and I wont edit your video in anyway and will give CREDIT to you with every possible ways. Thanks again.
This is all great but there has to be an initial foundation set up before teams become self organized. Self organization does not occur overnight in new teams who are used to waterfall and used to working in a siloed fashion. One may wonder that this is all common sense but in practicality and in my observation most technical people do not understand the idea of “collaboration” and “communication”. Without understanding agile principles and values in depth & lacking that initial foundational “framework” (or discipline to inculcate aspect of collaboration and communication through routine practices such as agile ceremonies) to get used to being Agile most teams lose perspective on what exactly is agile and start to feel that it doesn’t work because such teams do not follow any of the foundational aspects. When it becomes all about the team and not “self” teams begin to oppose the idea of agile.
It is pertinent for organizations to adopt any methodology top-down. As a first step prior to rolling out a new methodology, leaders up in ladder need to educate themselves. Subsequently, teams in mind should be trained and should have a mentor until something becomes a cadence. The rest will follow as long as long as the message is clear and most people are invested and see value in it. Senior leaders giving conflicting/contradictory message does not help! At the same time, one shouldn't impose any concept/methodology/framework or a process on any team. There could be reason why someone disagrees and organizations should perceive disagreements as healthy (ideally :)). As Agilists we have to maintain that good balance to get everyone on-board which is extremely important to succeed. Sometimes it also means that it will be series of failures before teams begin to deliver valuable increments of work. That's why patience is important. Organizations should be Agile (open-minded) to understand what is best for the company.
As someone who works as an Agile coach, I agree that many organizations can use help in learning how to follow Agile in the way they work. However, I tend to find that most of the barriers have to do with the side effects of dysfunctional organizations rather than a problem with Agile not looking like a common sense approach to technical people.
Autonomy is a misused word. I do understand that many organizations still use command and control method and that approach has nothing to do with agile but it does interfere with teams who are trying to incorporate agile principles or values from the agile manifesto. That’s why teams need a coach/a mentor to guide them through the process. Initial set up is necessary because in my experience I have met team members who had initially complained about agile ceremonies such as retrospective or grooming. It is a human tendency to feel discomfort about change. Plus agile exposes team members to be transparent.
People will naturally self organize. It's the Taylor, top-down, command-and-control, plan-and-schedule-driven, lack of autonomy that has removed that instinct from the corporate world. Remember that "self" is not limited to an individual as a team "itself" can also be, act, and grow as the Individuals and Interactions are inspected and adapted.
I think I would state it slightly differently. Lean Fundamentals can be a valuable way to follow Agile Values and Agile Principles. However, Agile is much more focused on the interaction of people when creating software and Lean is much more focused on removing waste from a system of production. For example, Agile says that you want to try to deliver software at least every few weeks. While Lean Fundamentals and a focus on flow are great ways of doing this, I think it is a stretch to say that this Agile Principle is based on Lean because of this. In other words, I think you can practice Lean while ignoring many principles and values of Agile and I think you can have a team really focused on Agile Principles and Values for their particular situation without doing many things you'd expect a Lean team to do. Although I do agree that over time there will tend to be some convergence. An Agile team is going to be looking for better ways of doing things, and as they mature, Lean is probably going to come up as something valuable.
I am not IT guy probably this is the reason why i did not understand what is all about. What I understood that it is NEW word for something what is already exist and that is something like LEAN or other work optimization in team.
Thank you for your comment as well. You raise a good point that Agile really isn't something ground breaking and new. It is just a matter of getting everyone to work together to do the things that they probably know they should be doing anyway.
Lean is very much focused on optimizing the flow of work or supplies. This is of course valuable in software creation, but is the focus is a bit different than the Agile Principles and Values. Agile is more dealing with the way people on teams work together and communicate. That said, if a team is focused on making improvments to the way they work together, you'll likely end up with Lean principles being implemented.
Much of Agile is just codifying common sense so people can all agree to make it common practice. In that sense it really isn't anything new. However, while Agile looks very simple, getting teams in large bureaucratic organizations to actually follow Agile is often very difficult.
The more I look into this Agile the more I see at best this is common sense software development practices and at worse some sort of snake oil sales mantra.
But lets take the at the best side: so what this Agile is saying is that how Start-Ups been developing software, which is well Agile, or putting software out every week and who cares about Documentation, is the way to go. Doh! Of course. I mean all the principals and manifesto, that Agile repeats as being Agile team we in the Start-Up, non-IBM size software development have been calling common sense good software development practices. So Agile is basically to give non-software engineers, aka Marketing BA types, a feel good mantra of being, hold your breath; Agile.
> putting software out every week and who cares about Documentation
Agile doesn't say you shouldn't have documentation. Just that you need to value working software more than you value documentation. This is common sense, but not necessarily common practice.
As far as it being snake oil, I've seen stuff sold as Agile that definitely seems like snake oil. I've also seen a lot of teams significantly improve their ability to deliver working code by getting everyone together and agreeing on what is common sense for their situation and then doing it.
If you are a taxpayer in the US, you might be happy that a government project that was expecting to spend $50 million was able to do it for only $15 million by following Agile principles.
(Of course, there are a ton of projects that say they are doing Agile without actually doing anything of the sort. On those projects, I'd agree with your assessment.)
luis fuentes Thanks for the feedback. I've tried to pickup the pace since making this. Would you mind taking a look at some of the newer videos in my channel and let me know if they feel more natural? I'd love to have your feedback so I can adjust my pacing for upcoming videos. Thanks again!
I am trying to understand Agile. Values and principles? For me it is some bullsh*t. Sorry but there have to be somebody who make the decision. How developers can make decisions if they don't have a full picture of the product and contracts. In short it says to create rules at your team and follow them. What a discovery! ITIL has more sense as it provides processes and Agile says do what you think is good for your team, product and company.
Thanks! I tried speeding things up in subsequent videos. I'd love to get your feedback on the pacing on my most recent one. Does it need to be faster or slower? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WqjReqxAA8
watched at x2 speed and it was still a bit dry, unfortunately. I think you focus too much on conveying the information; meaning, it felt like a data dump and wasn't engaging. I know you used the flash animation characters, but the information needs to be broken up a little more.
Scott Maxwell Thanks for the feedback. I've tried to pick up the pace on my newer videos though some of them are probably a bit too long. If you have the time, I'd love to get your input on some of the others to help me improve future attempts. Thanks again!
The principle of simplicity? It basically says that the team needs to constantly be working toward keeping things simple. It is worth spending time trying to figure out how to minimize the amount of work you do and the amount of code you write.
Does that help?
Clear and precise explanation of Agile. However, to what extent Agile is useful for a team is highly project- and team dependent, and I feel like that should be mentioned in the video too. It's not a solution to everything, it has its trade-offs.
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Most decent companies implement agile in some way, so you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Whats wrong with fast development anyway? Much better than planning everything out before hand and having your project take months before you even touch a keyboard.
The teams I've seen that are successfully using Agile tend to slow down the coding process in ways that eventually speeds up the delivery overall. Messy development tends to be very slow on delivery even if you write a lot of code really quickly.
I don't know if I'd say it is rarely implemented, but I agree that there are a lot more teams saying they are doing Agile than there are teams actually trying to follow Agile principles.
The video is fantastic, information well shared, and seems to be very professional. Thanks for that! Just one suggestion - the audio may be perfect if you silent down the audible noises that may be distracting ;)
Mark Shead the levels of your voice and music are just as they should be. What I mean are some natural (physiological) sounds that often get amplified by mic. It's my opinion only, but quieting down anything except for the speech would be highly beneficial for the (already great) quality of this content.
Why can't any of you managers define your henhouse in a sentence or two, like the rest of the human race? Do you really need 11 minutes to answer the question, "What is Agile?" I could tell you what the theory of Relativity is in one sentence! Complex definitions are the refuge of unskilled, mid-level managers.
Hi David. Thanks for taking the time to comment. While there is a one or two sentence definition in the video, most people seem to appreciate the details. I'm pretty sure a 15 second video of two sentences would create more questions than it would answer.
I think the same thing would be true with a ine sentence definition of the theory of relativity.
> 5 idiots will make same idiotic crap as one idiot!
Well I did point out that I was talking about a good team. I haven't ever worked with a team where everyone is an idiot. If everyone on your team is truly an idiot, then that sounds like quite a problem. Even if they are smart, but they all think the other members are idiots, that is a big problem too.
Well that principle is plain wrong. wisdom can not emerge from quantity! 5 idiots will make same idiotic crap as one idiot! Further more, 5 idiots + one good guy will also bring idiotic solution, because idiots are impossible to argue with.
Saying that architecture will "emerge" from the team is almost like saying - a new life form will emerge from carbon, oxygen and other molecules by mixing it well - yes its possible, it supposedly happened once 5 billion years ago.
agile is pure madness it is banalising computer science to absurd levels!
Yes that is one of the Agile principles. I have found that a good team can make better decisions than one individual. There are are a number of studies on the decision-making process that reached the same conclusion.
Agility in embedded systems is like:
PM: Remember costumer asked for 1L engine for 3D-hatchback project?
PM: What he actually meant is 1L per cylinder for a V6.
Dev: It will not fit under the hood, it's physically impossible!
PM: You better make it possible, because - AGILITY, BEATCH!
Could the thumps-down people's comments be filtered to the SORT BY - so that it could be judged for - "what reason" - they gave IT, for a fantastic work.. I think youtube should think of adding enough filters
Was looking for a refresher on Agile as I move towards starting my career. This seems like the purest overview I can find. One that forgoes talking about the kinds of tools that teams will use and focuses on the ideals that are common to all agile organizations. Really enjoyed this and I'll be watching it on repeat for a while to let it sink in.
Seth M Glad it was useful. I'm posting new Agile videos every month or so. I'd love to get your feedback on the other videos too. If you subscribe you can get notified of new videos as they are posted.
Nice video, but there is no Agile Manifesto... there is Manifesto for agile software development... change agile with swift, quick, whatever... So there is a manifesto for quick software development. Plus all your examples are SCRUM examples, which was created before the Manifesto for agile software development came to be. Anyway, Agile sounds better than MASD (Manifesto for Agile Software Development)
Seems like being agile is being naive as most developers have multiple projects they are working on at once... And you can't trust individuals to get the job done as you will have some unmotivated personnel hired so you can say you support diversity
Great explanation. I have to say I can see why devs complain about it.
1) There is no harm in building out only what is needed as long as it does not create more work down the road. Difference between a band-aid and a MVP. If you implement a crappy db layer in the example provided, that may later have to be removed and then transitioned to something more robust, you are not saving time.
2) I question the necessity of daily face to face meetings about everything, but I understand due to the personality and nature of the way a lot of devs like to work, it's better to have unnecessary meetings than to not have necessary ones.
Interest point of view, it made me think.. I always look for processes and tools and methods.. but it's true, I've seen 'waterfall' people using 'agile' stickers to corrupt agile principles, or even use kanbans or other buzz 'words' but over closed mentality 'non-negotiable' ,'no changes / no surprises' closed deal mentality once plan is SET on stone..
we really need to take a really deep look at ourselves to see if we are really using agile or we are just coating with agile frosting.
Thanks for the explanation. I'm trying to create my business and I'm trying to learn all these methods of organization. It is quite difficult to decide which one is the best method for each precise project. However, my collaborators don't want to investigate so much about it telling me that we should negotiate how much we need to "organize job". I tell them that for the job there is never enough organization or comunication. And they allways talk by whatsapp which for me it is the worst option for comunication. They want to apply the agile method but they seem to not follow the values and principles of the agile methods and we don't have a precise customer to change anything during the process. It is hard to find collaborators and it is even harder to find the right collaborators
Your observations are correct because there are a huge number of things that get sold as "agile" that have nothing to do with the values and principles. Some of them may even be reasonably good methods IF they are done within the context of the values and principles. However, I have yet to see a team that is actually following Agile principles and values where they didn't clearly see the benefits of it. I have seen a lot of teams that try to implement random practices (standup meetings, sprints, retrospectives) while ignoring the principles and values that get really bad results.
As far as whether or not Agile can make a shorter deadline or a more satisfied customer, yes it absolutely can help do those thing. However, it isn't an emergency switch that fixes everything. Everyone knows that exercise can help reduce the chance of heart disease, but running a marathon is not a quick fix for someone who is having a heart attack. Agile is not a quick fix for teams that are way behind on a project. In fact, you should expect that getting a team to change their underlying principles and values is going to take some time and many teams are going to slow down before things improve. You need to expect to see the j-curve effect.
I recently worked on a big project that had been quoted at $50 million and 5 years using the traditional waterfall method. The orgnization decide that instead they wanted to the team to learn to follow Agile principles and values and invested considerable time in those things. Even with that investment, the project was completed in 4 years for around $15 million. Further that foundation is allowing the team to rapidly and safely deploy new changes very quickly. They code and deploy a change ina matter of days. A single change done in this way was able to save $5 million dollars over the old way of deploying that required 6 months. Neither of those things would have been possible if the organization hadn't of decided to invest in following Agile. So there is very real, very non-subjective evidence that Agile can deliver faster, cheaper and better than traditional methods, but I agree it can be hard to differentiate between the hype the the facts.
There are also a lot of companies ruined because of the "agile methods" and a lot of stressed and confused developers. The productivity of those methods seems to be very subjective to me. I'm trying to find out the right evidence to demonstrate that the deadline will be shorter or that the customer will be more satisfyed. I just find opinions.
there should be a mix of Agile and a mix of Real Life (contracts, budgets etc). It so easy to fall into the "less planning, more change" or "less problem solving and more delivery", until you have to rewrite code, or your project profit turns negative, or your customer misses the investors meeting with a fully scalable app. Software development in real life is a project and companies need to plan and deliver in order to survive.
There are often many different ways a particular desired result can be achieved. Choosing the one that results in the least amount of work is the art of simplicity. Of course, that doesn't mean you take a shortcut today just to have to make up for it tomorrow--that isn't maximizing the amount of work not done. You want to look for ways to do exactly what is needed and no more in ways that maintain flexibility for other work that is not yet known.
Marin Community Foundation and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.
Overall, US-born Muslims make up the largest percentage at 34% of all Muslims in the Bay Area, followed by 14% born in Pakistan, 11% in Afghanistan, 10% in India, 3% in Egypt and 2% each in Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.
Silicon Valley Pakistani-American by the Numbers:
There are 35,000 Pakistani-born Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area, or 14% of the 250,000 Muslims who call the Bay Area home, according to the study. Bay Area Muslim community constitutes 3.5 percent of the area’s total population and is one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in the country.
As of 2013, South Asian Muslims, including Pakistanis, have the highest income levels, with nearly half (49%) of them having a household income above $100,000. In comparison, those groups with the lowest proportion of household incomes above $100,000 were Hispanic Muslims (15%), Afghans (10%), and African American Muslims (10%).
The Bay Area Muslim community is very diverse in terms of race and ethnicity:
South Asians (30%)
African Americans (9%)
Asian/Pacific Islanders (7%)
Based on the survey findings, the majority of Muslims live in the following three counties:
and Contra Costa (12%)
Thousands of Pakistan-born techies are working at Apple, Cisco, Google, Intel, Oracle and hundreds of other high-tech companies from small start-ups to large Fortune 500 corporations. Pakistani-Americans are contributing to what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee describe as "The Second Machine Age" in a recent book with the same title.