Life after ThoughtWorks Part Deux

Last year i wrote a blog post Life After ThoughtWorks and this year i was reminded of it by an (now ex) ThoughtWorker Chris Read.

I re read the old post and marvelled at how far i had come in twelve months, and also how my attitude towards TW has changed too.

Now, twelve months on from that last post and I’m older for sure, more knowledgeable too, but i’m still passionate about Agile software delivery. So passionate in fact it often leaks out into my daily life. I have jokingly called my self evangelical about it. I’m often challenged by people who have had a less than optimal experience with Agile as a software delivery methodology, and sometimes i can feel their hate and anger for this stupid thing called Agile that everyone is talking about.

So, first up an apology, to a good friend of mine Keith Henry. Keith was talking to me about this weird and wonderful stuff called Agile at least 6 years ago, and i dismissed him as a nutter, while he just nodded and grinned; he knew I would succumb eventually, then he could (rightfully) say i told you so. Keith, i’m sorry it was I that was the nutter.

Next up a thank you. To several ThoughtWorkers who have changed my perceptions, shared their wealth of knowledge with me, and listened to my many, many criticisms, scepticism and pessimisms. They taught me many things (often through observation and not directly), and so, in no particular order:

Luke Barrett – for many things, the consummate consultant and voice of reason.
Graham “Wookie” Brooks – for teaching me that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Chris “Dude” Read – for the filth and the energy.
Tom “Boobies” Scott – for teaching me to get my game face on, and never high 5 in public.
Richard “ffs” Fillippi – for the “Victor Kiam” moment, classic.
Sam Newman – don’t over promise and under deliver.
Jo Cranford – for making nice story cards and making coke come out of Chris Reads nose.
Pat Kua – Agile and performance testing can work.

I worked with many, many more ThoughtWorkers, but those above are the few who have shaped who I am twelve months on.

The big Question – Are we coping?

So TW roll off, hows it all hanging, are we still Agile? I think we mostly are, there have been a few times were the edges became a little frayed, but I think that in the past we may have stood by and watched as the fabric fell apart. This time we were able to tell that we needed to act, and were able to put in place a fix that was secure enough to have the required longevity and light enough as so not to deplete us of time and resource, and of course, we left the repair until the last responsible moment.

Our big challenge is not staying Agile, but keeping one team, that is distributed across two locations in sync. More than that, keep the synergy. That is not a software delivery problem, that’s a people problem.

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