So the title is kinda a lie. You can screw up one management methodology just as thoroughly as another, but Agile at its very core has some things I look for everywhere. Its principles suggest and even sometimes even explicitly express some of these things outright. Trust, Love, Respect and Understanding.
They are hard to talk about separately. One tends to require the others.
Love people for being people. We are complex, messy, freethinking, vastly different, individuals that have so much in common. Lets celebrate it. Our differences and the conversations that surround them are an incredible opportunity to learn something about ourselves as well as each other. Love the things that make us so similar. Love the differences.
Understanding that people just are. Our journeys are all different, but weirdly similar. As a group we have very similar abilities (mostly marginal in type / aptitude). We all have the ability to learn and make decisions as individuals. Understanding means realizing we get things wrong. This is no excuse, but a fact. We may be able to change one instance of ‘wrongness’, but not the existence of the collection that will appear in our lives.
Respect that people have the right and responsibility to make up their own damn minds. Our decisions are based on our past experiences. Respect our differences, because of our commonalities as people.
Trust the decisions your peers make. Trust implies that we take our hubris out of the equation and give our teammates, friends, and family members the benefit of the doubt. I love the retrospective prime directive here:
Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did
the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the
resources available, and the situation at hand.
Trust that people at their cores aren’t malevolent, but are simply trying to do their best with their own complicated and conflicting requirements.
Agile, its manifesto and practices not only exemplify these things but require them at a deep level. Radiators that make information public don’t do much good if either side reduces or questions their validity. Pairing requires an understanding/respect/love for your pair. Constantly questioning or de-knoting(rands) the other person is a deep, cognitively intensive exercise. Surrendering to the task and trusting this unknown being sitting next to you requires a level of trust that has to be constantly practiced and is never completely perfected. The list of Agile practices goes on.
But I think this is simpler than just a list of practices that relates to these four words. Working with people is hard. Building this thing that is OUR collective project requires this stuff. It means surrendering part of oneself to others and the project. We can’t build all of it ourselves. Effective communication and cooperation requires Love, Trust, Respect, and Understanding.
These are my favorite things. I adopt practices that exemplify them and help me walk a path that is as close to these ideals as I can manage. Call the practices Agile, Lean or whatever you like. I’ll keep the ideals of Trust, Love, Respect and Understanding.
Let’s assume ‘wrong’ consolidates somewhere near a normal distribution. Any topic what we consider wrong consolidates around a norm, but differs at it edges. Outliers exist. This is a huge and philosophical topic, so that’s as far as I’m going to go here.
That’s It !!,