Getting Better (guest blog post)

Today we have a short article from our guest blogger Johnno Nolan, who caught our attention in twitter when he said:
Great 2 hear the team talking soft dev. We go through an Agile in a Flash card every am and critique. Can feel devs caring again

Johnno Nolan's story is still in progress, but I felt that tweet was inspirational enough that I invited him to provide a short blog post, and he kindly submitted the following story.

I've worked here before. We developed with chaos. I left. They persuaded me to come back. They said it would be different. "We can do things a different way. Your way" they said. The chaos would be mine to tame. I accepted and returned.

The cold reality set in. The team was demotivated, resigned to the current system. Worse, we'd tried to implement 'Getting Better' before (I don't like to use the term Agile) but we'd lack courage and when the main change driver had gone, adoption fell by the wayside. There was mistrust, ignorance of doing things that way and then the team was asked to pick back up where they left off. So there's a been an open dialogue of what's been wrong and we've been focusing on the basics to 'Get Better'.

And we are.

I can look back a couple of months and we were not talking, not thinking, just accepting of the norm. Now we're learning together. Sometimes we have bad days, but today was a good one.

Before our stand-ups meetings we talk about one Agile In A Flash card. They say story cards are a placeholder for a conversation and that's exactly how we use them. We don't always agree with the card but we talk about it and try and understand. The cards provide a focal point.

Today was really productive, we finished more than we expected. We passed stories back because we didn't think they were good enough. We talked about design. We returned to the cards and talked more about process. For the first time in months we cared and we're proud of what we are doing.

We're not becoming Agile in a Flash but we're Getting Better Steadily.

Jeff and I are receiving several stories every week about how Agile In A Flash is helping teams re-engage with fundamentals. We'll be entertaining other guest bloggers in the future, in addition to providing some fresh content every month.

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