Sara Ford starts this blog post by saying that “Agile is the single greatest thing a team could do to significantly improve the user experience and quality of their site.” Naturally, that’s a pretty big statement, so she spends the rest of the blog post explaining how she came to that conclusion and why you probably will, too.
She begins the explanation by sharing what she’d tell herself if it were possible to go back in time:
- Design and plan for the next step (not the next feature)
- Break down work into the smallest possible sets
- Design and plan 80% of the way as the next step, using feedback to solve the 20% after that
- Forget everything you’ve been told about what makes a program manager successful.
Pushed into Agile
She then goes on to share how her team pushed her into agile, and how she had zero experience but still managed to benefit from it:
Moving to agile, I knew what they wanted me to do (have meaningful work for the devs to do, and make sure they always have the right work to do), but had no clue how they wanted me to do it. I called it “navigating a labyrinth that had invisible walls outlined with electric fences.” I only learned my way around by making one agile mistake after another agile mistake. It wasn’t really until I decided to try for one week, “I don’t care how I’m evaluated. #4 never existed. And I’ll just see if Rome burns down…” that I actually felt true happiness at work. I’m only sharing my personal feelings to prove that I’m not just drinking from the kool-aid. I really think agile is awesome (see next paragraph), even if it comes to me at great personal cost.
Ford continues the post, explaining her experiences in learning to accept the agile method of program management, and how she’s now coping with the agile way (which, despite what her blog post might come off as, she embraces). Read the full blog post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/saraford/archive/2009/03/16/how-i-learned-to-program-manage-an-agile-team-after-6-years-of-waterfall.aspx