Why, in the first place, we need Agile? We have been so good without it.

WhyAgileHow 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 make recommendations, and 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 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 such factors motivated thought leaders from all over the world to come and propose Agile Manifesto. Most of these leaders were developers at core, who had experienced what it takes to make and what can possibly break. They were 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) –

  1. Let DOERS understand what TAKERS need. Do not let Process and Tools, which are supposed to help them, become impede them.
  2. Let TAKERS see for themselves what has been done, instead of making them rely on intangible information.
  3. Enroll TAKERS in creation process, so that they have complete idea of what will be created. This also enables futuristic thinking for them. For DOERS, it makes them more realistic in making commitment on their side. And hence no one feels cheated, and most practical and achievable plans are made.
  4. And last and most important – Change is inevitable. If both DOERS and TAKERS as already enrolled for one mission, they both are change ready. Their plans evolve with 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 DOERS 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. We are self-motivated, our motivation comes from within. Our motivation gets killed by various surrounding factors, various prevailing Organizational hypocrisies and over the years the circle completed itself and called for its Agile environment to restore the internal motivation without which its a dead world.

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