Weekend Plans Post: Agilely Sprinting

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Fish
    Ignored
    says:

    “Son, we live in a world that has Agile, and Agile has to be guarded by men with Scrums. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, sys admin? I have a greater responsibility as Scrum Master than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Waterfall, and you curse Agile. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know — that Waterfall’s death, while tragic, probably saved development cycles; and Agile’s existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saved development cycles.

    You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me in that Scrum — you need me in that Scrum.

    We use words like “continuous development,” “continuous integration,” “customer collaboration.” We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending Agile. You use them as a punch line.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who updates tickets in JIRA and dials into telecons under the blanket of the very meeting invite that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.

    I would rather that you just said “no blockers” and went to your next meeting. Otherwise, I suggest you mute when not speaking and provide an update. Either way, I don’t give a DAMN how many story points you think this problem is worth!”Report

  2. Avatar James K
    Ignored
    says:

    I bought an apartment this week, so this weekend will involve planning my move.

    Also, Sunday is the end of the RPG campaign I’ve been running for a year.

    Also, Desert Bus for Hope starts tomorrow, so I’ll be watching that.

    So I’m going to be pretty busy.Report

  3. Avatar Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    The whole Agile stuff started with a book titled Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck. I love that book, I swear by it.

    It kind of isn’t the same thing as Agile or Lean methodology, though. It’s really easy to get caught up in the mechanics, the ritual of the methodology and miss its purpose. EPE might give you a better hint as to its purpose.

    I know one guy – an IT manager – who says he would never implement Agile with a team that was already working together well, and it sounds like that’s just what happened at your work. That’s too bad. The important thing is people – and this is a tenet of Agile methods. But people often forget that.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      One of my five bosses told me that Agile works when it’s done right but we’re not doing it right but it’s the current fad so we’re doing it anyway.

      The best process is the one that has measurables that can be put into line charts or pie charts and shown to upper management. Agile has measurables galore.Report

  4. fillyjonk fillyjonk
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t know what Agile or Lean are, being a college prof, but we keep getting hit with more task-stream type stuff that admins once did being layered on to us. Now we’re being asked to plan and administer our own (online) teaching evaluations, and to me, that seems ripe for people to game the system to make themselves look as good as possible. And probably v. inequitable because there are definitely people better at gaming the system, and with fewer compunctions about doing it, than I have, so I expect to see my evals go down and theirs up.

    But more than that – laying more tasks on us when a lot of us are already exhausted from a semester of fighting with BlackBoard and Zoom and the endless “hey I forgot to take the quiz can you open it back up for me” requests – seems unfair.

    it all seems unfair.

    This weekend? I don’t know. Grading, I guess. Staying home. Staying home more aggressively now given that we’re up to about a 5% case rate, higher than it’s ever been.

    Normally this would be my weekend to put the tree up because normally I travel for Thanksgiving, but travel is not happening this year, so I might put it up over Thanksgiving break. Or I might throw a petulant fit and not put it up at all, and just pretend that no holidays are happening this year because I will be all alone, and just call today the 257th day of March and Christmas will be, I don’t know, the 310th day of March or what the hell ever.

    I know I need an attitude adjustment but I can’t quite flip the switch for myself, and there’s no one around to help me flip it.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk
      Ignored
      says:

      Agile is a way to have more meetings in a way that lets managers who have no technical knowledge feel like they’re managing people who dream in code.

      Lean is an illegal recreational codeine drink. (It is also known as “Purple Drank” or “Sizzurp”.)Report

      • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        It is really important that the business side stakeholders – the people you describe above – not throw the development team under the bus to other suit-wearers.

        And you do this by letting them engage on a very regular basis and feel exactly the way you describe. And by telling them in no uncertain terms what it will mean for the project if they are stabbed in the back.

        So – success!Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Doctor Jay
          Ignored
          says:

          Well, I have two bosses who know how to do my job better than I do. They got Peter Principled up and I am the lackey who does the easy crap (allowing them to do the hard crap).

          The other 3 bosses just take my status reports.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to fillyjonk
      Ignored
      says:

      I used to do jujitsu – eight months ago in the before times. We touched each other. That means quite a bit to a human being, it turns out. I haven’t been touched since this started. It sucks.

      Consider this a hug. We are all struggling with this. We aren’t meant to be this isolated.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Doctor Jay
        Ignored
        says:

        thanks. I was never a huggy person years back, then I acquired a friend who was quite huggy and he taught me to appreciate being hugged. (Then he died unexpectedly, but a mutual friend of ours took over for him in hugging)

        I hadn’t realized how much I missed it.
        though I also miss POSSIBILITY – that I could decide “hey I don’t have work to do this weekend, why not go antiquing” and just go, without worrying about mask/gloves/hand sanitizer or turning around and going home if there were “too many” people there.

        this winter is going to be rough and I am already facing it with considerable dread.Report

  5. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    We get asked this a lot… can we implement your solution Agile or Waterfall or whatever. The true answer is, of course, sure. But I confess I’m tempted to ask whether they want to fail spectacularly a year from now or enjoy the failure daily for the next 18 months. Because the one thing I know for sure is that the method you pick has 0 correlation with the success of your IT projects.

    Alas, I have many mouths to feed and no one pays me for pithy observations.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      fail spectacularly a year from now or enjoy the failure daily for the next 18 months.

      That’s exactly it.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Because the one thing I know for sure is that the method you pick has 0 correlation with the success of your IT projects.

      Generally true. I do give Agile at least a nod for encouraging the principle of “get something up and running as quickly as you can,” even if they don’t call it that. I’ve written a lot of software over the last 45 years, but have been blessed/cursed with usually working alone. Even if the client is only me, it’s a lot easier to provide meaningful feedback on something that runs. And only speaking personally, writing a hundred lines of code to get something started always seems much more daunting than writing a thousand lines of enhancements.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Manager: Get something up and running!

        Me: Define “Running”.

        Because I can throw up a dialog box that says “Welcome to Widget v0.001! Click OK to continue.” in about 15 minutes. JIRA Complete!Report

    • Avatar Fish in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Ugh, I think you may have hit on one of the reasons why I’ve been so unhappy since being thrust into an Agile environment. I get to tell everyone every day how I’ve failed! Again! And there’s no end to it! And my coping mechanism–skipping meetings–isn’t helpful.Report

  6. Avatar PROFESSOR ESPERANTO
    Ignored
    says:

    I need to tidy the house. One of the cats puked in the sun room. I have to sweep leaves off the front stoop. Bring up and fold my laundry. Assemble the jobs I completed on Friday in Ocean County and submit them to the home office. After that I’m going to buy Among Us on Steam, smoke some of the new weed I bought last night, and wonder where I should go outside today. Only thing is I am dreading the wife’s return home because she’s been especially difficult of late and I just give her distance and hope she works it out since even showing concern makes her super confrontational towards me.Report

  7. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    The move has quieted down to the point where I had some time to look at code. So, here at Ordinary Times, the State of the Discussion stuff is back (including the commenter archive parts); the “in reply to” information on most comments is back; <i> and <b> tags in comments work again; a variety of small formatting fixes for the theme are applied again.Report

  8. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    We use Agile at work. We have JIRA, and Confluence, and Stash.

    The thing you figure out pretty quick is what to use and what to ignore. We use JIRA, but Story Points… Not so much. Maybe if we need to hash out a time estimate across multiple devs, we employ them as a guide so everyone is on the same page. but otherwise, we ignore them. Too much work.

    Unless your managers are Atlassian Cultists, you too will cull the less useful features.Report

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