What Agile feels like

Agility is hard.

But the alternative is harder: endlessly chasing features but not seeing an impact, people overloaded, falling behind schedule, mounting tech debt, and a lack of quality.

Agility is hard.

It’s hard for engineers because they take on a lot of responsibility. It’s hard for product managers because it needs ruthless prioritisation. It’s hard for everyone because it requires collaboration and that can take people outside their comfort zone.

Being Agile is a lot of work, but it feels manageable. It feels like a team effort, where members of the team help each other.

It feels like there’s always some pressure on the team to deliver, but the team is focused so there’s space for deep collaboration. There’s also space for deep solo work but it’s never too long before getting feedback.

It feels like there’s always some pressure on the team to deliver, but the pressure isn’t on everyone all the time. There’s some space to explore different ideas. It feels creative.

Agile can feel messy. Sometimes requirements are fuzzy. Sometimes people step outside what’s usually expected from someone with their job title. Sometimes engineers help figure out requirements. Sometimes different people have different ideas about a particular challenge, or what the solution should be. There’s space for people to share their views but discussions are focused. Plenty of conversations happen outside meetings but anything important is shared with the team.

It feels productive. It’s less bureaucratic than before. It doesn’t feel perfect but it feels good.

Agility is hard, but it’s harder not being Agile.

Once you’ve experienced Agile it’s hard to go back.

Next: Agile: what’s the actual process?

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