Saturday, September 11, 2010
Is it so simple?
Make it clear, pay attention,
modify -- succeed?

Know what you need now;
Keep it small enough to see;
and -- oh -- show your work.

Evaluate: Done?
What do you really still need?
Do the next thing.

All animals are
not equal: Pigs give bacon;
chickens? Only eggs.

So put pigs in charge --
since it's their butts on the line!
Still, do heed the hens.

The Product and the
Sprint Backlogs, and the burn-down --
um. One more time, please?

Sheep scatter, drawn to
the newest, greenest grasses;
Wolves threaten. Dog guards.

But sheep are not as
dumb as they are said to be;
they train the dog, too.

And the shepherd learns
from dog, from sheep, and from wolves;
Best keep the touch light.

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I've been working as a technical writer, business analyst, and project manager for more than twenty years. I've worked on many projects in many industries, and I've come to believe that the top-down culture and the CYA process design that's common to many companies regardless of size is profoundly counterproductive, and I'm looking for ways to change that culture and those processes.

In looking for a different way to organize people and projects, I found the Agile Manifesto. The Agile principles of valuing human interactions, collaboration, and openness to change sound wonderful; the focus on sustainability, simplicity, self-organization, and flexibility sounds good too.

I'm starting to study Agile; I'm taking a two-day class in October 2010, and planning to begin an Agile Management program at Berkeley in November 2010. I'll be talking about what I'm learning as I learn it; comments, feedback, questions, and advice are all very welcome.