I was just over at the AgileScout website and read an entertaining account of his trip to the supermarket. It went a little something like this:
This past weekend, like every weekend, I go to Whole Foods with my wife for our weekly food run. While sampling some of the very good wine, I ran into an old neighbor that I hadn’t seen in years.
We ended up having a long conversation about his company doing this whole “Agile and Scrum thing.” I found myself saying things like the following to help clarify his questions:
- “Yes, that is Agile.”
- “No, that’s not a Scrum principle.”
- “Yes, that’s part of iterative development.”
- “Well, that isn’t explicitly in Agile…”
- “Well, Scrum doesn’t prescribe you to do…
- “No, that would be waterfall…”
- “Can we… I… get back to drinking free wine?…”
This reminded me of a very similar experience I had when my wife and I met some friends for dinner. One of them asked what I did exactly. When I offered a 30 second explanation and included Agile, I got a quick “we do that at work” response. I was pleasantly surprised so I asked in what ways they leveraged Agile principles and approaches. Now, I’m no dogmatic Agilist but the follow-up response had me shaking my head. I wasn’t going to outright argue with her but she correlated doing something as fast as possible as being Agile. No collaboration, no planning, monitoring, or adapting. To her, anarchy and Agile were pretty much synonymous.
For all of you project managers, project leaders, facilitators, ScrumMasters, coaches or whatever you may call yourself, what would be your 30 second pitch? Do you think you could explain what you do (to a layman) in 30 seconds? I’d love hear some of your pitches.