The Importance of Christmas

I like Christmas. A lot. I’ve come to appreciate Christmas like I do weddings. I feel the same way towards Agile. All three operate on a manifesto of sorts that people can choose to either respect and adhere to or flout and play-pretend.

Everyone just wants to have a good time. And why not? In my experience, practicing Agile is a bit like driving. When you tell people you use Agile to deliver projects, you’re signalling intent, one of collaboration instead of conflict. After signalling comes fulfilment, made real through behaviour and action.

It’s like driving to the shops and indicating you want to turn left and then actually turning left. Unfortunately, many of the Agile drivers I meet signal left and then turn right. These are the same people who wonder why their passenger-team doesn’t believe or trust them to drive safely. Unskilled drivers are a menace to themselves and everyone else on the road.

Agile, like Christmas, creates a culture of shared reality. By having a common and worthwhile goal, one that produces genuine value for instance, people will figure out difficult (impossible) problems like they’ve always done: through co-ordination, cooperation and convergence.

Agile is the ultimate endurance test because it demands openness, stamina, consistency and constancy. What would your project be like if everyone tried their best to get along with one another, do the right thing and do things right? It would be like Christmas. Everyday. For Everyman. How civilised.

Make 2008 matter. Instead of letting others make mincemeat out of you. Thanks for reading. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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