This is my brain on agile OR help me I can’t shut it off

Agile is changing my brain.

I didn’t think that was possible after 40, I mean isn’t science telling us that everything is hardwired by 21?

I realized it in a church committee meeting the other day.  A leader in the committee is stepping down. So, the question now is – who is going to be the next leader?  Good question, groups need leaders Blue-brainright? But before I started thinking about who that person could be, my brain got all counter- cultural and I blurted out “Why do we need a leader, can’t we just self-organize, or maybe just rotate leadership?

Some people agreed, some didn’t.   We talked some more. And then we started talking about developing our agenda document, something that has lots of updates, and takes some time to build.  And again, my brain was like on some agile questioning trip and I blurted out, “Why do we have to do this documentation? Seems like overhead to me.  Can’t we just get a trello board, put up some cards and have the leadership check in on the cards?”

So now..some folks were looking at me funny.  I understand.  It was I who two years earlier gave a lengthy presentation to the same group of people on the importance of creating a project charter.  That was about a 1.5 hour talk on creating a document.  So now…here I am pushing for no documentation?

Then…then…I started asking about our mission.  I asked to see the vision statement. I asked the pastor to explain it.  I then stated that our team should have a say in developing our vision, that it should source democratically from within the group as well as from church leadership and I think I said (probably a bit rudely too) something to the pastor like “Well, we need to be involved in developing this vision with you.”

Yeah, so, I’m having a hard time in my real life (not at work – real life )

  • not breaking things down into minute chunks that can be accomplished in a few hours   i.e. – not Costco, but onesie twosie trips to the grocery store, every other day.
  • not expecting all leaders to collaborate i.e. – assuming that leaders need to work collaboratively with the team (as good product owners should right?)
  • not assuming all teams function better when they self-organize – i.e. maybe we don’t need that council president
  • questioning the need for documentation and extra process overhead everywhere – i.e. “No I’m not giving to that charity, they want paper checks for goodness sake.  That means half of what I’m giving them is going to processing.  When they reduce overhead…then I’ll give.”

But what’s really scary but also kind of cool ….. I’m getting ok with ambiguity.  So with the same church group, we are still figuring things out.  We don’t know what the future will really look like.  We haven’t picked a new leader yet, we’re thinking our process and mission may change significantly…nothing…nothing feels solid right now. But, since we have the next iteration…er…few weeks planned out, I’m ok.  Shrugging it off.  We’ll figure it out.

This is my brain on agile








2 thoughts on “This is my brain on agile OR help me I can’t shut it off

  1. Agile isn’t just a set of methods. Embracing Agile values changes our value set, which drives our expectations and our behavior. Which changes our habits. And eventually, changes our lives. And that explains the level of resistance we get when we try to transmit the Agile “virus.” This ain’t Tupperware – you can’t just buy it to be sociable and then put it up on the shelf.

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