From the Saturday afternoon memo department

Agile very disciplined even though it’s informal on the surface–the exact opposite of doing what you feel like.

To: [name elided]
From: MWS
Date: Saturday, 6:04 p.m.

Wow, I do weekend things on a weekend, come back to the computer, and there’s all this action.

What’s this about needing something done by end of month? I’m pretty sure [name elided] already handled the demo, which is why those cards are in archive. If there’s something I’m supposed to do by month’s end, there should be a card for it in the backlog. And the progress of cards is how you know things are getting done. If I’m doing things that aren’t on the cards, the funders are going to ask what the hell I’ve been doing. And I won’t have a good answer for that.

A decision is made to do something when a card gets added to the backlog. If it’s not in the backlog, the decision to do it hasn’t really been made. Among many other reasons, this is necessary because it keeps the project owner from making half-assed decisions. You either have to do it, and add points to the project, or admit that it’s not really on the agenda. You can’t pester the team to do stuff that’s not in the backlog and then hold them responsible for the backlog not getting done.

Bottom line: Agile is the exact opposite of doing whatever the hell you feel like. It’s very disciplined even though it looks informal. It will absolutely not work if you keep trying to circumvent it or make it be something else.

4 thoughts on “From the Saturday afternoon memo department”

  1. As someone who reads a lot of blogs, I’ll tell you why I always read Mark’s. Because it’s not a load of BS he has simply made up to appear intelligent. Anyone who has read business books should notice the spew of bullshit coming from many writers fingertips.

    His history lesson behind each post is roughly based on NOW. It’s real. Like it or not, agree or disagree, true or false, it’s always based on the reality of the current situation.

    It’s bold and sometimes brash, but should be applauded.

  2. Yeah, people see any process in one of two ways, I’ve found:

    1. This process is in place to guide us as we move forward.

    2. This process is for everyone else, I’m special, no need to follow it.

    The hardest part of any project is “Dealing With #2”.

  3. The own page format is nice, but I canont manipulate my comments as I’d like to (blockquotes, breaks, etc.) Perhaps I am missing something.Also, the “Home” link on viewing a thread leads to a 404.

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