I guess better late than never, right? Here are my notes from the “geek dinner” for February.
The topic of the evening was Agile Adaptive Management.
The first speaker was David Spawn – Westminster Business Professor.
What makes a good manager?
- can give constructive criticism; builds up confidence
- open to ideas; ability to listen (partner on the team rather than a hierarchical leader)
- integrity as a leader; keeps commitments
Some other audience-supplied values:
- deal with people as individuals (not cookie cutter)
- communication; give and receive feedback
- mutual trust
Agile-Adaptive Management Model:
– Innovation –>
Purpose & Organizational Value
Hire Great People
Do Something Innovative
Learn & Reflect
<– Knowledge –
Next we had Alistair Cockurn speak (http://Alistair.Cockburn.us) about agile development.
Why do we need agile?
- solving a problem not yet understood and it’s changing constantly
- creating a solution not yet understood
- writing in languages not yet understood
- to a compiler that doesn’t forgive errors
- short on resources
everything you do is situational sensitive
a software project is a goal-directed finite cooperative game
goal 1: deliver _this_ software (simple, finite)
goal 2: setup for the next game (infinite)
goals 1 and 2 conflict because the games situation never repeats
What is agile? Agile is not “pair programming”, “standup meetings”, “test cases” .. those are useful, preferred practices, but agile is adherence to the core values:
- individuals & interactions
- working software
- customer collaboration
- responding to change
Finally, and very important: agile has limits; don’t use it for a team of larger than 15 or a project of “life critical”.