Sunday, July 19, 2009

Agile patterns

I've been thinking about Agile lately as just a set of organizational patterns. There are two that gave me an ah-ha moment.

First -was in the book "How we Decide" by Jonah Lehrer. A fantastic book I strongly recommend to any one who thinks about how they think and what makes people do things. Near the end of the book he has an
antidote about a pilot and an crash that led the aviation industry to a process called cockpit resource management. (CRM) I believe that CRM is to the Aviation industry what Agile is to the software development industry. Unfortunately we've had many "crashes" in terms of projects that fail. Interesting thing is Lehrer goes on to talk about how CRM has gone on to the medical field as a practice that has yielded great benefits in the surgical operating room. And that was just one facet of the book. I believe that working on an Agile team or with a CRM culture is just so intrinsically satisfying. I just wonder why I feel that way about it that I find so cool. The accomplishment, the connection with others.... Humm. Perhaps a follow on book for Jonah Lehrer. A great example of what I'll call the shared owner ship pattern.

Second - last night I attended a Woodstock anniversary concert with the Cincinnati Pops and the rock band "Jeans n Classics". Very enjoyable and very talented people. What really struck me was how the Jeans n Classics folks all supported and complemented one another. They had a leader but each artist had special time to shine and show their own talents. The gelled as a team. Each song was a sprint and the concert was a project. I enjoyed the music and nostalgia. And I also admired the interdependent team. Each one contributing their particular talent. Usually at such a concert there a single star that is a focal point. This was a set of interdependent artists. Just like I'd like to see of a team of software developers. This is a great example of the interdependent pattern.

I think I'd like to develop this pattern idea some more. It helps to unify many of the ideas I've been bouncing around especially regarding the application of Agile to distributed organizations. More for another day.

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