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Why Agile Purpose?

Agile Purpose is about focusing on the deeper purpose of agile methodologies, the individuals, the interactions, the communication. Giving a voice to the individuals learning to become agile. Understanding how fears hold back an individual from committing to agile, forget what it means to commit to the work. Remembering that while agile is about team success, every member of that team still wants to know how that success is reflected in the paycheck they take home.

Having the opportunity to work with agile processes and teams for 5 plus years now, I have spent a lot of time learning more about the artifacts, processes and manifesto, how to make it all work together… reading books, blogs, going to conferences, talking to folks using agile in many industries, attending webinars, anything I can do to gain more insight to help my teams, clients, and projects to improved agile success. But in this journey for knowledge, I noticed that one of the most important factors in agile success was rarely, if ever, being discussed, there were so few resources about this major part of agile… the people who are the foundation of what agile is.

There are so many books and blogs about how to determine your teams velocity but none about how to help disparate individuals become a highly effective team. Paragraphs and paragraphs about how to run retrospectives but little to nothing about how to engage the individuals and give them a voice. So many resources on how to build the process and the team but so very little on how to help every individual who is being asked to become agile, how to make that transition when their own baggage and past history may be preventing that transition.

As I learned to be agile by doing agile, working with a team that was just learning agile and sharing the growth as they  learned to work with a more agile mindset in all of the roles from team member to scrum master, from product owner to responsibility for the live project. Through these phases, I saw personally how different individuals handled the transitions or not and how issues that individuals went through in their personal and professional lives affected their day-to-day success and participation in the different phases of the agile process, and most importantly how not addressing and acknowledging the people elements can impact sustained agile success even long into the project when the process is “set.”

The goal is to ensure that one of the most important parts of the Agile ManifestoIndividuals and interactions over processes, the very first line in the Manifesto, returns to the agile conversation because you cannot have sustained agile success if the people doing the work are forgotten while you are focusing on building the perfect agile process.

And so starts this journey,
Christin Overton

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