Agile & Best practices : Allies or Oxymoron ?
In Agile ways of delivering software products we often hear people talking about adopting 'Best' practices to improve their delivery. Common buzz in the industry is that look for BEST practices in Agile ways of working we should look for BEST practices.
If you try looking for BEST practices definition in Wiki you get -
A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things, e.g., a standard way of complying with legal or ethical requirements.
In my view, Best Practice must surely be able to demonstrate a superior outcome achieved because of the way the thing has been done.
If “Company A” had success with a particular initiative then should the same approach be followed for “Company B” to attain the same result ?
And most importantly do we really need to look for Agile BEST practices ?
Outline/Structure of the Talk
Outline/Structure of the session as follows :
1. Introduction to BEST practice (2-3 mins)
This is an Ice Breaker game..
2. How BEST practices are applied and in what context ? (5-8 mins)
Once the Ice breaker is over we will start collecting the details from participants like when & under what condition they have applied BEST practices in their work and have discussion around the same.
3. Understand Agile way of execution and apply Cynefin framework to understand the Agile processes in detail (8-10 mins)
Here through Cynefin framework we will try to understand all kind of systems and specifically discuss more about Complex systems where Agile practices fall into. Will touch upon 'Emergent' practices and discuss how it is different than 'BEST' practices.
4. How one can apply Emergent practices and what are the enablers for them ? (8-10 mins)
Here we will explore Fixed & Growth Mindset in detail. Will discuss how Growth mindset enables Emergent practices and Agile processes.
5. Will brainstorm around BEST practices and understand why we need to avoid them in first place (5-7 mins)
Will discuss how BEST practices brings Fixed mindset approach that prevents continuous improvement (Kaizen) & innovation culture. Will also discuss how the addiction towards BEST practices slows down the 'Self-Organization' journey in teams which in turn affect the organization agility.
6. Conclusion of the presentation (3-5 mins)
Will conclude the presentation by stressing the need of Growth Mindset that helps Business Agility which is essential for continuous learning/improvement, innovation, faster time to market, automation etc.
7. Q&A (2-3 mins)
Will open the forum for Q&As.
Below are the learning outcomes & key takeaway from the talk :
- How Fixed mindset can slow down the 'Self-Organization' at team level which can affect the Business Agility.
- Why Growth Mindset is required and how it resonates with Agile practices .
- How Emergent Practices brings innovation & continuous learning culture.
- Looking at a holistic picture
- How Growth Mindset can bring the cultural change in their org.
Ideally anyone who are working/part of Agile teams
Prerequisites for Attendees
Good to have the basic knowledge of Agile as it is very helpful to relate the content of talk