Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. This basic core value stated in the Agile Manifesto implies so much it’s hard for anyone to totally grasp it. As an Agile coach I owe it to myself and to my clients to properly understand this value and do my best in helping teams and organizations apply it. But how can we achieve an efficient level of interactions that is high in value?
I don’t impose a lot of conditions to organizations who want to start a so called Agile project but there’s one where negotiation is not possible : Having a team. Not a group of individuals working for the same manager but a team of professionals aiming for the same goal. If this can not be appreciated by the organization, I see no need to go any further. It’s the foundation to any successful I.T. project! And forget about moving on to the “working software”, “customer collaboration” and “responding to change” values without a solid team.
I enjoy taking it one step further by creating a team where the frame of mind is one of a small company. While respecting the fact that team members are proud to be working for their employer (at least I hope they are), they need to create this small company feel and understand that THEY are responsible for the failure or success of THEIR project. With this philosophy in place, rich, open and honest interactions become essential. Of course this doesn’t happen over night and a team needs to move through those well known “Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing” stages.
If you want your project to succeed, you need individuals that are able to interact efficiently. Efficient interactions happen when individuals are aiming for the same goal, trust each other and are accountable for their success. Put together a team of competent, cross-functional professionals, allow them to reach a performing stage and there’s not much they can’t achieve. Oh! By the way, this perfect team includes the client…