2012 Agile Predictions

Episode special

January 24, 2012




The Agile Weekly Crew, Alan Dayley and Perry Reinert discuss predictions for Agile in 2012.

Episode Notes

Roy van de Water, Derek Neighbors, Alan Dayley, Perry Reinert and Jade Meskill discuss their predictions for 2012:

Last years reflections

Early adopters dig deeper than process

Leadership will come into focus

Companies will become aware industrial age is behind us

Training will have more depth and options

Community will fracture further before it gets to good stuff

Increased competition will raise the bar for Agile

Training for the wrong things

This is the year of storming…

Alan commits to writing more

Perry is going to read 30 books this year

Derek is going to explore leadership/systems thinking frameworks

Saving the Scrum Alliance

Jade is going to champion creative culture creation


Roy van de Water:  Hello and welcome to another ScrumCast. I’m Roy van de Water.

Alan Dayley:  I’m Alan Dayley.

Derek Neighbors:  I’m Derek Neighbors.

Perry Reinert:  And I’m Perry Reinert.

Jade Meskill:  And I’m Jade Meskill.

Roy:  I would like to welcome you to a special edition of the ScrumCast. About 12 months ago, we all got together and came up with several predictions on what we felt were going to happen throughout the year, with regards to Scrum and Agile. We’d like to take a moment, real quick, to reflect on our predictions of last year and see how well that went, and then also make some new predictions for the upcoming year.

Alan, you made several predictions last year? What you felt really happened and didn’t happen?

Alan:  I thought the most promising thing was to start losing the labels around the different frameworks, and I saw a movement happening in that regard. I think that was a pretty safe prediction. It’s happening.

My secondary one, on community, I also predicted there was going to be some conflict around that movement. In my opinion, at least on the email lists and other places where conflict seems to grow, those sorts of things aren’t happening. We’ve got some people who are adamant about losing the labels and mixing and matching different parts of different frameworks.

They’re very upset when somebody says, “No, we need to do Scrum or we need to do Kanban or whatever it is.” I think those are pretty safe predictions. They did happen, and they continue to happen.

Winners or losers, I failed implementations. I have a client right now in fact, that is doing really well, or was doing fairly well on their own, but told me, “No, we don’t need you,” and then several months later said, “Yeah, would you come help us”? I think that’s happening a lot.

Roy:  Perry?

Perry:  Yeah, I definitely, I was jumped onboard with Alan on the verbiage. I think we had, my notes show legalism and frameworks. That’s the sort of getting spun‑up on the details versus the real concepts around Agile.

We’re definitely making progress. As it grows up, as we get more mature, as more people actually really understand Agile instead of just, “Read the book and try to follow the recipe,” then they’re in a better position to adapt the real principles to what they need to do.

I think we’re still making progress there. I also had around community predicted changes in certification. I think we’ve definitely had changes around certifications. We’ve seen the spring up of IC Agile, Scrum Alliances has made some changes, just for example, the CSP has changed from the 10‑page form to that’s now an exam.

I think we’re going to continue to see changes in there also. Winners and losers, I had developers who would continue to win in the Agile world. I think there’s no progress in there, but I’m really feeling like that’s still the next big thing to trying not to get into future predictions now. I think we made progress, there’s more progress there.

New things, I said exploring lean principles in usability. The lean principles definitely, all of those Agile practices and principles I think are coming together as we mature and usability is still a big thing. I would have liked to have seen even more progress there, but I think we’re making steady progress in those areas.

Roy:  Derek, how did your predictions and the beyond?

Derek:  I think my first prediction was getting back to the routes of the manifesto not being quite so process focused, and I failed that one miserably. I think I’m about three years ahead of the curve on it. I suspect, in about two years, we’ll actually get there.

I think step one Alan and Perry got right on, and that’s now everybody’s just bitching and fighting about which process is the right one. I think ultimately they’ll come to find that it’s really about the routes of the manifesto, and the processes that we use don’t really mean shit when it comes down to it. They’re just tools to implement the bigger things. I think I failed on that one because it was a little too early.

On powershifting away from trainers back to coaches, I think that’s starting to happen a little bit. I didn’t accelerate quite as much as I thought, but Scrum coach retreat certainly saw a number of CSTs that are now doing a lot more coaching engagements instead of training.

They’re not feeling as fulfilled doing the training, they understand that they’re not seeing the lasting change in organizations when they just come in and train, and there’s not coaching there. I think that’s starting to play out a little bit last year and I think we’ll see a little more of it this year.

Winners and losers, I said everyone loses if we don’t have people challenge how we currently do things. I think that we started to have people challenge it. Right now, they’re challenging it by saying, “My framework’s better than your framework, ha‑ha‑ha, I challenge you to prove me otherwise.”

That’s starting to unearth deeper and deeper issues with like the streets gathering to just recently happened. I granted that was this year, I guess earlier this year. Before we recorded this, they are trying to challenge some of management smother things that are going a little bit deeper then process. I think that there is some challenging happening.

Roy:  Jade, how about your predictions?

Jade:  I said that there would be a lot of growth of agile asset in the United States and that is certainly happening. One of the things I personally missed was, I talked about inspiring a lot of bottom up adaption of agile. For me, personally, I have actually been working a lot more with executive teams on top down adoption of agile. That’s quite an interesting thing.


Roy:  Alan, you said last year you were planning on working harder to train, encourage and train productive conflict. How do you feel that went for you throughout the year?

Alan:  I do not think it did very well. The team I had in mind to do that with was disbanded shortly after that podcast and I have to admit that I lost focus on that. It’s an interesting conundrum how to tell people that the conflict is good if you to do it the right way you do it with trust. I just don’t feel like I either haven’t focused on that, or I haven’t felt like I have been on the situation, to focus on that as the hard problem that the team has.

The teams that I am working with now have the hard problem of portfolio prioritization and how to get backlog right. We seem to be spending a lot of time with that and I am not sure that I have had the opportunity to do that but that maybe an excuse.

Roy:  Perry, you had said that you are going to explore and practice some different lean principles into your work and try to do a very good job to understand the customer and increase its ability.

Perry:  Lean principles not so much other than just touting, [inaudible 07:45] , and maintaining. The team needs to be aware when stories are backing up and they are completed but not releasable types we have harped on it. Now, what I really want to do there, the usability we have made some progress.

It’s more around how do you get from product management having ideas of what to do and understanding, and how to figure out what the customer really wants. We call them the target benefits and what those are. We’ve definitely made tons of progress in that.

Roy:  Derek, you said you tried to get teams to value relationships in humanist and encourage creativity by looking bigger than the product.

Derek:  I think the first one happened on a scale larger than I could ever imagine but not in the way that happened. That was within our own Integrum team. We made a significant radical shift in our team size and what we value as a team. I am on the most human team I have ever worked with, the most transparent and vulnerable group of consultants and I am really proud of that.

But that’s not what I meant when I said that. I was actually talking about targeting external teams. I guess being your own dog food is a good thing. Now we know what is involved in some of that and what happens when you get really real. Encouraging creativity by looking outside the product, we are starting to do that and looking to start an engagement that is looking to do this in a fairly radical way.

If that works, hopefully next year I would be able to talk about some of the success we had with that. We are doing quite a bit work with education. Work outside of the software industry altogether where the product is actually somebody’s education. It came through seventh or eighth grader and that excites me to be thinking about it in that way.

Roy:  Jade, you said that you try to inspire bottom‑up adaption of agile.

Jade:  Like I said earlier, because of the shift in the way that Integrum has changed, I ended up actually working with more executive teams, talking about how to make not only the