I’m committed to people experiencing joy, self-expression, partnership and accomplishment in their work. That statement is my guiding principle. It helps me decide where I’m going to focus my time, my effort and my education. So how did I get interested in Agile and how does it connect to my personal statement of purpose?
The first Agile project I encountered was far from ideal. The QA team didn’t understand how they fit into the Agile process. They attended daily stand-ups (on the phone) waiting patiently for requirements so they could start testing at the end of development. There was no team room; everyone worked at their desks. Shortly after the software was deployed, it had to be pulled out of production and reworked because its downstream effects hadn’t been fully considered. Somewhat messy, as first tries can often be.
I was curious to find out what people thought about the project on the business side and gave several of them a call.
The overall business owner considered it the best project he’d ever worked on with IT. He loved knowing what was happening every day, and the close collaboration between the developers and the business people. Someone on the team told me he appreciated talking about ideas for a feature with a developer in the morning and often seeing it work that same day. A user said how happy she was with the software; that it gave her an easy and intuitive way to do something that had been hard before.
I knew that there was something really right about Agile if a project with this many challenges had left such a positive impression. There was a rare level of enthusiasm. Joy, self-expression, partnership and accomplishment were present.
These conversations flipped me from being interested in Agile to being an evangelist for Agile.