On Becoming Better

K.: Don’t you find the Agile Values patronising?
P.: Why do you ask?
K.: It’s basic stuff. Like things we learnt back in kindergarten.
P.: Do you always follow the Agile Values?
K.: At work. Mostly. I guess I don’t always succeed.

Growing up to be better

The thing I enjoy most about Agile is that it’s an approach founded on People, Continuous Improvement, and Common Sense.

Cast your mind back to your teenage years. Think about your teenage children. Look at those around you at work. Can you spot those who continue to do things exactly the same way they’ve always done it for the past twenty, thirty, forty years? Can you catch yourself doing this?

Growing pains are never pleasant or easy to endure. Especially when you’re an adult who believes you already know it all. Worse still, an adult who knows best and think everyone else desperately needs to change, but not you.

Find the fish in the sea

According to Marshall Goldsmith, the┬ásimplest step towards Continuous Improvement is to find one of your trickier customers. This may be a particularly demanding client or a disgruntled spouse or offspring. Ask them this question: ‘How can I be a better [supplier/partner/parent]*?’ Next, identify together an action you’re prepared to take to improve. Be sure that the acceptance criteria has been clearly defined so that both parties will recognise when the improvement has been accomplished (aka Done). Then, set to work and make it happen. Ask again for feedback to verify for positive change. Finally, rinse and repeat.

Just as there’s always plenty of work out there for folks who deliver value, there’s always plenty of room for improvement. For each and everyone of us. You included.

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