Discover more from Saiyan Growth Letter
The best Agile book I ever read!
For anyone into software engineering or business.
I loved this book.
The best Agile book I’ve ever read.
Someone can tell you what it means to be Agile, but it’s a different game sharing actual and different stories where people, teams and companies were Agile.
It makes you truly understand the essence of being Agile. The importance of it and how much money you could lose as an organization by not being Agile.
Let’s dive into the 6 mantras the book presents!
Be Quick—But Don’t Hurry
We should be quick. Quickness is a part of being Agile. However, rushing or hurrying is not.
This mantra is about the difference between being quick and being in a hurry.
When we hurry, we are not stable and balanced. We are prone to making more mistakes. When we hurry, we tend to take the easy path. The path where we get to cut corners. Speed is just a perception here.
Being Agile requires focus. It’s easy to think by starting more work you will get more done. But in actuality, speed is a perception here.
Start less, finish more.
To go faster, take smaller and safer steps.
Failing fast is an Agile way of learning. Combined with taking small steps, super powerful.
Be Balanced and Graceful
Agility requires balance. Balance is necessary to move quickly.
When we are in balance, we are stable and prepared for change.
When we are not balanced, it’s more difficult for us to adapt and move with grace.
Leaders must care deeply for their people at work.
Care for customers. Put yourself in their shoes when responding to feedback. One thing that comes to mind is having a zero-tolerance policy for bugs in software engineering.
Bugs should never be something you put in the backlog to deal with later.
Everyone’s voice on the team matters and is important to hear. Balanced teams are CLEAR:
Curious, caring, and open-minded
Listen to one another
Encourage everyone to contribute
Avoid dominating or interrupting
Repeat and review people’s points
Foster a culture where people aren’t blamed. A team is a team. Use failures and mistakes as a way for everyone to learn and improve.
Make the environment safe to fail. People shouldn’t be afraid of taking risks, initiative and exploring their creativity.
It’s often never a good idea to impose change. You want to attract it. You want people on your team to genuinely have an interest in trying out the ideas you present.
Be Poised to Adapt
Be ready to act or move.
Be in balance.
To quickly adapt to what’s right, we need to quickly learn.
Learning often involves failing and reflecting. We shouldn’t rush learning nor be hasty to adapt.
Being poised to adapt requires skill. You need to be skilled. Mastery. To be able to adapt during unexpected times.
Practice how you respond to problems. Think about the potential unexpected events that could happen. Prepare for such events. Because when they do happen, you won’t be in a panic.
You can make your customers even happier by adjusting your solutions and personalizing them for the customers.
Leverage quick and cheap ways to validate what you’re building. Don’t build without knowing if someone wants the product or not. Fail fast and cheap.
Jeff Bezos: “The size of your mistakes needs to grow along with the company. If it doesn’t, you’re not going to be inventing at a scale that can actually move the needle.”
Empower people in your organization to experiment and fail no matter their seniority.
The entire team owns the product, not just the product team.
When building a feature, don’t wait for it to finish before you seek feedback.
Watch your users use your product. Are they using it like you expect them to? Watch them use it. Learn. Adapt the product to become better with this newly learned knowledge.
Start Minimal and Evolve
You never know exactly what to build. You never know the exact right thing to build in detail.
You may have a vision of the problem you want to solve, but building it right in detail is a different thing.
Start minimal and evolve. Don’t build too much upfront just to realize you need to remove much of what you built.
Don’t think you need to build some big solution at first. Behind every big solution you have in mind lies a minimal version you can build, deliver value early on and get quick feedback.
Starting with something minimal doesn’t mean starting with something worthless. Start with a minimal version that delivers value.
Drive Out Fear
Fear hinders an organization from being Agile.
The people on the team shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes. They shouldn’t worry about what others think or be blamed.
What does fear do?
People try to be perfect. They cover up their mistakes. They’re afraid of taking risks and experimenting. They worry about what others on the team think of them and if they will get penalized.
Organizations need a safe environment to produce high-performing teams.
Less fear also means more trust. More trust means more collaboration. More collaboration means more speed.
When a terrible mistake or incident happens in your organization, don’t point a finger. Don’t play the blame game. Instead, use this chance as an opportunity to increase the safety of the organization. Use this chance to enhance the atmosphere.
For example, someone introduces a change that breaks production and has a big impact on many customers. Everyone knows who introduced the change. If this incident results in people in the organization pointing their fingers at this person, then everyone in the organization will be more worried. What if they’re the reason such an incident was to happen?
When an incident happens, use the opportunity to emphasize the importance of teamwork and being there for each other because no matter what work is done, it’s the team collectively working on the product!
Be Readily Resourceful
Being readily resourceful means not hesitating to overcome challenges, maneuver around obstacles, and quickly solve problems.
It requires optimism and a team that’s balanced with a mix of skills.
This also means empowering your staff to take ownership and be resourceful whenever unexpected events occur.