Agile Development Methodology – Not Just a Change in Skills, but a Mindset

I’ve been doing lots of reading as well as talking to many people about the agile development methodology and where it’s going. What I’ve discovered is that there is no agile method that is right and to be ‘agile’ requires being agile about going agile, if that makes sense. Here are a few items as food for thought that I’ve picked up in the last few weeks:

  1. Agile is an interaction model; it’s about collaboration, not just sticking to the ‘plan’, but adapting as changes occur, and welcoming change.
  2. There are many levels of agile and different flavors. There is no ‘right’ way to do agile. The minute it’s right, then it could be wrong for the next iteration.
  3. Agile promotes immediate feedback and consequences of low quality are easy to determine, versus waterfall where feedback is slow, and reasons, as well as consequences for low quality, are hard to determine.
  4. A good agile motto: “Build 1/2 a product that kicks ass rather than a half-ass product.”
  5. Agile successfully adapts to inevitable change versus following a plan with minimal change.
  6. Waterfall is plan and do, versus agile is envision and explore.
  7. Agile flexibility and adaptation is the foundation for innovation.
  8. Agile has people with skills who apply them when and where needed, rather than people with ‘roles’ who carry out a plan.

As a company dedicated to software quality, we find agile and agile testing as a refreshing way to get the whole team enrolled in quality. Testing isn’t testing anymore. It’s much more.