Agile practices are for everyone, in every industry, not just software development.

If you are still holding on to old organization paradigms, you are leaving money on the table.

We had Robert Martin as our special guest at The Dojo Live! He mentioned something rather interesting about programmers, “we rule the world.” Today, almost everything is made of software.

How Did It Get This Way?

The software industry went through a period of high structure. It basically imitated the manufacturing processes. But that didn’t work.

During a period of experimentation with alternate approaches, a group of remarkable software pioneers, including Martin, came up with the Agile Manifesto. It became the seed for a paradigm shift in the biggest industry in the world.

“Agile methods are less about software construction and more about humans working together and communicating. No matter what field you’re in, there’s something to learn here.” —Chad Fowler

For Everyone

Here are my notes on the things that can be adopted by non-software organizations,

  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.

    We can replace “working software” for ready-to-go commercial plans, marketing campaigns, recruitment campaigns. It wouldn’t make a difference. Working results is the primary measure of progress.

  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

    It leads to the paradigm shift of real good customer service. Expectations adapt throughout the way instead of being fixed throughout the project.

Introducing Sprints into any team will help align everyone’s tasks into a single deliverable objective. Sorting relevance between tasks won’t be a burden anymore.

The benefits under Agile are immediate: less cost, faster deliverables, and, most importantly, happier people who are less worried and getting things done.

An Example

Standups can save hundreds of hours of frustration with their team and employees. I have lived the opposite first hand.

My former boss used to spend anywhere from one to two hours on 1-on-1s with each of us, every week, just to check in what was going on. We never discussed issues with each other; we didn’t even had meetings as a team.

If we had switched to using Standups, he could have gotten the same information in a few minutes. In fact, it would have been better because as a team we would have brought up issues that didn’t come up during our individual 1-on-1s.

My boss never changed and I eventually moved on to Nearsoft, where Agile is our way of life.

Finally …

I believe software development has a lot more to offer to the world, much more than just a bunch of ones and zeros.

Way more.