If This Wasn’t True…
…it would be funny (Lost the Dilbert strip during the move, sorry 🙁 – 01/31/2009 CEN).
In many big companies, the people who are allowed to bring about change are people who have titles like Director, VP, CIO, CMMI auditor, Black Belt – you get the idea. One of the things that is so exciting about the Agile software development movement is it turns this idea on its head – it asks the people who are doing the work, how they want to change things. The last of the 12 Principles behind the Agile Manifesto, speaks specifically to improvement.
At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
This is an application of the Lean concepts of continuous improvement (kaizen) and relentlessly eliminating muda, mura and muri on the short time scales of Agile. Each iteration, we ask the people participating in the process on how to make things better and then implement the suggestions. Management (and other outsiders) need to avoid the temptation of telling the teams how to fix things and just genchi genbutsu. The people doing the work know what needs to be changed, all we need to do is listen to what they have to say.