Returning to pragmatism in agile practices

What agility is competing with is not waterfall or micromanagement. Agility is fighting idealism and optimism offering realism and honesty as an alternative. This is the strength of the agile movement and its biggest weakness. Let’s face it: we prefer promising some sweet lies over going through the trouble of sharing the truth that might be challenging to deal with.

Agility is about being pragmatic.

What could be more pragmatic than gathering feedback early and often from customers to make sure they are interested in your product and it therefore generates revenue for the company?

What could be more pragmatic than changing direction as soon as you learn that your product is not solving the correct problem or that it wastes your business’ money?

What could be more pragmatic than focusing on the wellbeing of people building a product that hopefully generates revenue? Wellbeing means that people:

  • feel emotionally and physically safe in your company,
  • have all needed hardware, software and work environment to produce high-quality products,
  • raise issues and are sure that they will be taken care of, etc.

I don’t want my job to be defined as teaching agility or making sure that scrum meetings happen. Both are part of the job, but not the essence of it. I want to be perceived as someone who has no other interest than making the process from idea to useful product as smooth as possible and doing that not for, but with my teams. Even when Scrum is not the answer.