How will you feel if you are told that your job is to code or build or maintain and support the best way you can, you get all the help you need, you know what product you are creating or contributing to, and you have complete freedom to give your suggestions, and not just that, your suggestions are valued, changes are made as per them. In return only thing that is asked from you is to stay committed to the product you are aligned to. Will you give your 100% and try to create best possible product with your team?
This is most NATURAL expectation that every IT professional has, irrespective of his role as a developer, tester or system admin. Things get little complicated when you mix hierarchy, processes, audits, employee ranking, employee appraisal, team management, motivation by competition and then one more factor that creeps in with all this – dirty politics. All this demotivates employees and creates a massive confusion and incoherence in the entire organization. Everyone is burning themselves to 100% of their capability, yet results are disastrous. Customer is unhappy and company is in loss. Nothing seems to work.
In 2001, many us factors motivated thought leaders from all over the world to come and propose Agile Manifesto. Most of these leaders were developers at core, the soldiers at war front, the peasants who make food for entire nation, the backbone of their organizations. They were the actual DOERS. They proposed a manifesto that was based on their understanding of needs of DOERS and TAKERS (Customers) –
- Let DOERS understand what TAKERS need. Do not let Process and Tools, which are supposed to help them, become impediments for them.
- Let TAKERS see for themselves what has been done, instead of making them rely on intangible information.
- Enroll TAKERS in creation process, so that they have complete idea of what will be created, and why. This enforces service provider to give best possible solution. DOERS get complete visibility to what needs to be created.
- And last and most important – Change is inevitable, both DOERS and TAKERS as already enrolled for one mission, evolve their plan of action to face changing time and needs, and hence create what can serve and not just sit there as HumBug.
Point to be noted here is that this manifesto majorly talked about DOERS, their NEEDS and their ENROLLMENT with TAKERS. It did not talk about organizational hierarchies, practices, Employee assessment, control and utilization. This manifesto only focused on how best product can be created. And the way chosen was one that came naturally. Give them freedom to do their best, and you will get what you are looking for. This natural approach, this instinctive science of product development is called AGILE.
By default we all are Agile virgins. We love freedom, we love to create. Our motivation comes from within, and can be easily be killed by various surrounding factors. To restore that, you need Agile environment.