In the nature vs. nurture debate, researchers have declared nurture the winner. People who excel are the ones who work the hardest; it takes ten+ years of deliberate practice to become an expert. Deliberate practice is not about putting in hours, it’s about working to improve performance. It does not mean doing what you are good at; it means challenging yourself under the guidance of a teacher. Unfortunately, our organizations are not set up to develop experts, nor do agile practices encourage them. So how will we develop the experts we need to improve?
Even teams with good skills, appropriate technologies, and posters of the Agile Manifesto on the wall can have trouble. Giving into temptation is often the cause. Guiding values are what keep us on the straight and narrow path in the face of temptation. Teams that have strong internalized values will stick to or invent good Agile practices while teams without them will drift into the ditch.
In this talk, I’ll present what I think of as the most important guiding values:
- working software
- being reactive
- fast feedback