If agile started as a software development movement, the customer has been at the center of its values since its initial statement. The usage of agile and lean has now widespread beyond the IT world. In her book “Being Agile in Business”, Belinda Waldock explains the agile and lean approaches from a business perspective.
The book is structured in four parts that explore the definition of agile, the reasons to adopt agile, the approaches and technique to behave in an agile way. The final part provides simple steps to share an agile culture in your teams and organizations. The book covers approaches like Scrum and Kanban. The book is well-structured and easy to read, providing examples that are outside the software development world.
I will recommend this book as a good introduction to the agile approaches for every business person that has to deal with an agile software development team, as a product owner or a manager, or that want to implement the agile perspective in other domains like marketing or sales.
Reference: Being Agile in Business, Belinda Waldock, Pearson, 978-1292083704
Letting go of existing processes and systems to adopt agile can be difficult, especially for those who are comfortable with routines. Even if that routine is difficult, it can be hard to acknowledge. There is a need to let go of the existing rules, identify the problem within the process or the system and go through the pain of change in order to achieve a better outcome. Trusting that what is, in effect, a very simple management system like agile to expose and address current problems in your working practices, can be counter-intuitive to some and can take time to accept.
By clarifying our goals and objectives we can work toward outcomes and value that we aim to achieve. Agile manages activities based on our performance towards these objectives rather than a pre-planned set of instructions and fixed requirements. The method helps the team to find the best solution rather than define and control it from the start.
Vanity metrics are the sort of metrics that tell you only what you want to hear and that look good: they massage our egos and paint a picture of the best parts of the story rather than the whole story. Vanity metrics can be misleading, as often they tell only part of the story and show the positives, which have little value and act as a distraction from what may be happening beneath the surface.