Be Disruptive. Be Agile.

Agile software development is disruptive. Big companies pride themselves on their ability to plan. Strategic plans, project plans, marketing plans, sales plans…and more plans.

Agile teams plan too but they place more emphasis on delivering value. They recognize that plans change so they limit upfront planning and let the plan evolve with the project.

That’s disruptive! It goes against the instincts of many corporate executives and those that look to them for leadership.

Fortunately, there are executives that understand the need to disrupt the status quo (i.e. the waterfall approach) and try something new. There is a natural tendency to fine tune a process looking for ways to continually improve it. That often works but at times you need to shake things up.

Scrum, Kanban, XP and other agile approaches shake things up. Resist the pressure to adopt a few agile techniques while preserving the essence of waterfall. You’ll end with a hybrid approach that may be worse than either.

Be disruptive. Embrace an agile approach wholeheartedly. Give it an honest try for a few short-term deliverables. It will be awkward at first but if you give it a fair shot, I’ll bet you’ll be impressed with the results.

Updated: December 31, 2010 — 5:13 pm