About the Book
Agile Journeys entail changes that are varied and extensive. Each journey is unique, and is shaped by the people involved and the context in which they operate. At the same time, there are similarities that jump out and grab our attention when we look at more than one transition.
This book contains agile journey patterns the authors have encountered. We share these to help you recognize situations you may find yourself in on your own journey. Remember, you are not alone. Use the tips in this book to reinforce or counteract the patterns you see. Notice how they mesh and intertwine into a complex whole. To make the patterns easier to reference, we gave each pattern a name. We hope that the names will help us, and you, talk more clearly about our Agile Journeys, and understand each other more easily.
This catalog of patterns is by no means complete. Undoubtedly, we will discover more patterns as we continue to observe and discuss Agile transitions. You will, too, we hope. May the collection continue to grow for as long as these patterns are helpful.
About the Authors
Trained in literature, I have been an organic vegetable farmer, an electronic hardware designer, and a software developer. What else do you do with a degree in English?
Today I help organizations succeed in their software development efforts, as a consultant and coach. I bring to bear decades of personal experience, lessons from Systems Thinking, a wide variety of Agile Development approaches, and an appreciation for individual and team dynamics.
I spent many years as a software programmer/analyst/generalist/consultant and I watched the industry “evolve” from one where it was expected that I sit and talk (sans methodology) directly with my customer and write code to meet their needs, to one characterized by document sign-offs and Gantt charts and code freezes and blame. Then one day in 2001 I was browsing a book-store and found the book “Planning Extreme Programming“ by Kent Beck and Martin Fowler. I bought it, I read it, and I exclaimed out loud “Oh my gosh, there are other people in the world who believe what I believe about the way things really work on software projects!”
Today I am an independent Agile coach focused on helping teams and organizations find success applying Agile principles. I witnessed first-hand the success of iterative, feedback-driven development as compared with waterfall processes. I also experienced the importance of valuing people in the pursuit of creating work places that are not only productive but also happy, humane, and creative. I am passionate about sharing what I’ve learned and helping my clients discover the Agile journey that is right for their unique situation.
I heard about Agile software development while working at a small start-up company in Denmark, developing communication software for industrial process control and getting frustrated by my experiences with that. When I left the start-up to join another one, I did so purposely in order to experience Extreme Programming first hand. After somehow landing at a Fortune 50 company in Silicon Valley, I joined in the formation of an Agile Special Interest Group there in 2004. I've been a Scrum Master with training from Ken Schwaber and Jeff McKenna since 2007. I've worked on at least a handful of different teams in various geographic configurations, and in 2013-2014 I was involved in an implementation of SAFe as an internal consultant and part-time Agile coach.
My Agile journey began at HERE - formerly Navteq. Before ourAgile adoption, Navteq used a traditional gated development process.As a software developer, I experienced first hand the painof working in a siloed organization. Since the adoption, I haveparticipated in a Coach mentorship program and have met others inthe Agile community through conferences such as the RetrospectiveFacilitators Gathering. Before working in software, I worked asa singing waiter, musician and a voice coach for a small youththeater. My interest in technology and learning was fostered duringmy pursuit of a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology.
I was not Agile before there was Agile. I was a Computer Science major that hired into a CPA and consulting firm right out of college. We followed a waterfall process. Plans, contracts, and process were paramount. Working software came late, and when push came to shove, manual testing got cut short. That was how I worked for a decade.
I got introduced to Agile as part of a career transition. I served as Scrum Master for both collocated and distributed teams. Collaboration with other Scrum Masters provided the first taste of "coaching." When the corporation announced the closure of our office location, I sought opportunities in other organizations that were also transitioning to, or practicing, Agile methods. That set me on a course that lead to more Agile coaching, filling that role as both a consultant and employee.
Continuous learning and engagement with others in the Agile community has been key to continuing to develop and provide value as a professional.