It was Never About the Love at First Sight - Discuss Agile

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It was Never About the Love at First Sight

I remember when I heard about Agile, the first thing which was told to our team was “Daily status meeting”. Like everybody hates it even I hated it. There was lots of negativity getting build around the word Agile.

The biggest question in the mind was WHY? WHY? WHY?

Things were going fine without agile also. My team had been delivering on time and sometime even before time. I hated it more when I heard about user stories, sprint planning, sprint review and sprint retrospective meetings. Things which added more to it was scrum of scrum and sprint pre-planning meetings.

We were angry with this term Agile because we could see so many meetings getting added in my calendar and we could not see any difference in the outcome because of all those things.

That’s how lot of people in welcomed Agile.

This hate story started to convert in love story when our entire team went for 2-3 days of Agile training.

I was surprised when our trainer said that Agile is a mindset.

It was a WOW feeling when they asked to name our team and have team logo which should not be related to the project. I felt like in movies college gangs used to have name and logo.

They talked about setting new goals every 2-3 weeks, setting stretched goals at the same time and celebrating the achievements after every sprint. It felt the same way we used to set goals for my marks before exams in school and then working hard for it. This was the first thing which made me start liking the Agile.

After the training below are my new definitions to all the meetings which I derived for scrum meetings:

Sprint planning: Setting up the goals for 2-3 weeks and letting people choose on who can contribute where at his/her best. The most important part on this meeting was always setting up stretch goal and deciding on reward on achieving it.

Scrum Meetings/Daily Stand up: First of all, I hate calling it status meeting because statuses are for managers not for colleagues. This meeting is conducted only for two reasons: First is offering help and asking help in achieving the team goals. Second, as a team we can track the progress towards our goal.

Backlog grooming: We were not doing this meeting for long time but then we realized because of missing this we had to pay the price in next sprint. For us this meeting is to decide what makes sense to set as next goal if team needs to sharpen the pencils/tools or if outside help/coaching required to achieve our next goals.

Sprint Review: Showing the implementation to other principal engineers, marketing, servicing, support team and other scrum team had saved us so many times because of realizing the mistakes much earlier. Getting the praise for what we have done in 2 weeks is always like extra cherry on the cake.

Sprint retrospective: Don’t retrospect just on how to increase the velocity or what is not going right in the team. We retrospect on how to have fun in the team? How to increase bonding among team members? How to do the celebration on our achievement? How to plan better so none of us end up working late in office? For me this have been the most fun oriented meeting all the time and we improved a lot by working on the ideas came up in this meeting.

With all these new definitions which I derived from the Agile trainings I am truly in love with this word Agile. I like all the engineering practices which Agile talks about.

I felt below differences after getting into Agile mindset:

  1. Bonding between team members. People were not leaving early just because their work is done. We stayed back if somebody was struggling. Remember every goal is a team goal.
  2. If we work hard we celebrate it the way we want. We tasted everything which is available in Café coffee day menu.
  3. First time I said, I don’t like working on this piece of code can I pick up something else and it was welcomed by everybody.
  4. More energy in the team obviously gave better results.

All the leaders talks about it. It’s not about just delivering, how you deliver also matters. That’s what agile mindset brings in.

Don’t forget for me also, it was never the love at first sight.

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  • rooosterboy

    Interesting conversation, did you talk about the technical aspects of agile, TDD etc?

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