The thoughts, opinions and sometimes the rants of Mark Evans

Back to Basics - the Agile Manifesto

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Every now and again I feel its right to look backwards as well as forwards to see just how much things have changed from when I first started writing code back in the glory days of 1993. I’ve not had to think about it in a very long time but last weekend I spent some time reminding myself of the Agile Manifesto

There are a number of principles which I think can often get forgotten in the cut and thrust of the day to day challanges faced by both developers and product management, its not (IMO) because they don’t believe in them, its just human nature can get in the way to blind us so that we “Can’t see the woods for the trees”.

Both inside and outside of agile, communication is a key ingredient for collaborative working which is reflected in the following principles

Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

When these are not followed a number of things can start to go wrong for example

  • Product managers / Business people asking developers when something will be ready
  • Developers working on tasks which aren’t required
  • Developers not understanding the business objectives or goals they are working towards

Having good daily standups can help alleviate the risk of communication problems but both sides also need to appreciate the different communication styles that people have and make sure that is accomdated when dealing with communication on a daily basis, doing so will free the team up to the potential to acheive great things.

For fun I decided to take a quick (and not very scientific) test for my communication style. I’ll let you be the judge on its accuracy

Primary communication style is: Controller

Controllers are typically people whom others perceive as a very active, independent, self-confident and results oriented kind of person. You may appear to be bossy at times or even disregard other people’s feelings when it comes to getting things done.

Your Value To A Team

You tend to take initiative and exhibit leadership.

Your Major Strengths

  • You have s trength of purpose and determination.
  • You are very goal oriented and will work through obstacles to obtain important goals. This can make you seem insensitive to others if you are not careful.
  • You get things done and can typically be counted on in a crisis.

Your Major Weaknesses

  • Because of your drive, determination, and focus on goals, you can be insensitive to feelings of others.
  • You may become impatient with others and let them know about your impatience through words and body language.
  • You can be demanding of other people, especially those who don’t share your focus on getting things done.

You Are Primarily Motivated By

  • Results
  • Challenges
  • Action

Your Method Of Communicating

  • Your communication tends to be fact based, task oriented, and one way.
  • You may have challenges being a good a listener.
  • You prefer to initiate conversations.

To Improve Your Communication

  • Listen more.
  • Become more interested in other people.
  • Leave time for small talk before you ‘get to the point’.
  • Practice expressing your feelings.

Your Typical Emotional Response

  • Because you are not usually comfortable expressing your feelings, you can become detached.

When was the last time you considered your communication style? There are plenty of tests online, might be worth refreshing your memory to see if there are ways you could be a better communicator.