Becoming agile without permission

In the course of your work you will discover something that is not clear, is un- or under-specified, or just plain wrong. When you bring it to the attention of the team,  have suggestions and a recommendation of what should be done to resolve the issue. You will be seen as a creative, knowledgable problem solver and not someone that leaves the hard work for others.


In the daily standup, and other meetings and work sessions, speak up. The workplace can be a noisy place. Rooms are not set up to be good acoustic rooms. Speak up. Be heard.


While working on tasks is good, the goal is to complete the story.


I am not here to deliver requirements. I am here to deliver solutions.

I do not want to know what you require. I want to know what you need. I want to know what you want to achieve. I want to know what hurts, what are your problems. I want to know what are your objectives, your goals, your dreams.

I am not here to work for you. I am here to work with you. I am here to be your partner.

I am not here to follow a process. I am here to do the right thing. I am here to work with you, to work with people on the team, to work with anyone necessary to deliver the solution. I am here to do work that creates value, that delivers solutions.

I am not here to give you my time. I am here to give you value.

I am not here just to make a buck. I am here to change our world.


How do you keep track of the things you need to do?

How do know what to do next?

How does an agile team know?

An Agile team keeps a product backlog. The items (stories) on the backlog is prioritized. The team works on the things that are at the top of the list. They keep track of the things they need to do and they know what they need to do next.

We, as individual agilists, can do the same with the use of a personal backlog. We can keep the things that we, as individuals, need to keep track of for ourselves with this backlog. We can put anything we want on the backlog. It does not need to be stories or any other single thing. If we want, we do not have to show anyone our personal backlog. It is ours to manage as we see fit. Of course we should take into account the things we need to do according to any project plan that we are working to in our professional lives. But it can also contain all those things we, as agilists, know we should be doing. By using this personal backlog we can mix the things we must do with the things we know we should do and combine and mix and prioritize so that we can produce great results.

We can also mix personal things we need to do to this list. The most important thing we might need to do is call the doctor to make an appointment to have hat sore back checked out. Self help books have been telling us for decades to keep a to do list. By keeping a personal backlog we can apply the techniques we use to organize the work of a team to keep our own work in order.


Agile AWelcome to Agile Undercover, a place where we can explore the possibilities of becoming agile when the powers that be do not. Agile works best when the members of a team are agile. You can begin the process of becoming agile well before your organization does. In the process, you will learn how to create better software, how to build software the users want, and increase your productivity.

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