In 2001 something happened. A document was drafted and called the Agile Manifesto. It is wonderfully simple and requires just a bit of thought-full-ness in order to consider a favored balance of someone or something OVER something else. In order to help bring the point across I often draw a small picture of the document that goes something like this…
The teams seem to remember it much, much better.
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
My drawing for a person is simple and quick. a stick figure. the emphasis is that they share the same thought cloud.
a hammer and a wrench or some gears…. processes and tools were meant to enable people… not fetter them.
Working software over comprehensive documentation
A train made out of 1’s and Zeroes. = working software. In the old days we didn’t have enough 1’s to go around.
pieces and stacks of paper
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Simple Stick people – but one of the is holding a ‘$’… Just as in a USER buying our software.
Jail. Locked down and imprisoned by paper that seemed to hold everything we wanted but quickly grew heavy and burdensome. protecting a prior understanding rather than representing how we work together.
Responding to change over following a plan
A chameleon – and this is how I think of adaptability. Responding to change. If I have some colored markers I’ll stripe a few bits if rainbow in there. We are teaching teams with an emphasis on problem solving skills. They must adjust and respond to change, as no situation is ever ideal.
A treasure map. A plan. I Love me a plan. – Yet most experienced coaches and veterans will tell you that plans seldom encompass or foresee every detail when in the thick of action. So you train your team to adapt, adjust, and be problem solvers in order to overcome the things that get in our way and the difficulties along the path. Buried treasure, by the way, is not valuable. Like in software – if it is hidden and no-one uses it or knows it is there… it is not worth much.
Try it and see if the 4 principles are easier to recall. Even if you are recalling a gecko pirate… wait another second and it will lead you to ‘adaptability over plan’.