Carsten Grønbjerg Lützen

Carsten Grønbjerg Lützen

Who am I?

I'm a Scrum Master and Engineer at LEGO System A/S with an MSc in Computer Science and a soft spot for Software Engineering and methodologies. Hence here is my take on different agile and plan-oriented methodologies and how we learn to use them effectively in our everyday life. Especially with an agile agenda.


What I write about

Recent Posts

Agile is dead! Long live Agile!

Agile is dead... There is nothing we can do about it. We need to do things differently to stay afloat. But how do we do this? Should we go for scrum, kanban or scrumban?

I had the great pleasure to attend AgiNext 2018.

It gave me a lot of input in how I can develop myself to help teams become even more effective. But first foundations must be constructed properly.

When I got to the conference I knew no one, but leaving the conference I had a lot of new friends. Thanks! I look forward to learn even more from you guys and girls!

Forget What You Think You Know

At the conference a lot of my beliefs where broken down and then put back together again with much stronger arguments and validity. I learned soo much new and there is soo much I need to learn afterwards. I will probably write about these things later.

One of the things heavily discussed at the conference was:

Agile is dead

We have lost agile. What "agile" set out to "fix" have failed. In the frameworks, tools, etc. we are using in the industry, many have similar control mechanisms as we tried to avoid in the first place. So did we really improve?

Another interesting fact is if we go back in the litterature and take a look at the Winston W. Royce (1970). "Managing the Development of Large Software Systems" we see that even in the 1970 people were aware of the fact that waterfall is a sub-optimal approach and we need some kind of iterative approach.

(Fun fact: The paper I linked to above is often referred to as "The Waterfall Paper".. And if you read it you'll notice he is not particulary fond of a linear approach)

Back to the Future

We must go back to the original values of "agile". What did "agile" try to fix in the first place? What does the agile manifesto say? What does it really say?

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

I bet you have read that before. But did you pay attention to the first line?

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.

We don't have a cure-it-all tool in our toolbox that can solve all our problems. We need to approach our products/projects in a playful and learning-oriented approach.

If we watch the brilliant Spotify videos (part 1 andpart 2 we tend to believe we can just adopt their structure and then we will be "as agile" as Spotify. But we only see the tip of the iceberg. We see the visible artifacts but not the values, culture and team dynamics that fuels all this. We must keep experimenting on our own and play with different tools until we find something that help us solves our problem in our time. Remember:

Methodologies are someone else's solution to someone else's problem at some other time Antony Marcano

Celebrating Failures?

Should we celebrate our successes? Definitly! What about failures? We have heard it over and over again..

Celebrate failures like you celebrate successes.

But why should we do that?

People should learn it is OK to fail

I completely agree with the intent of this. However we should not encourage failure for the sake of failure. We should encourage learnings instead. If we try something learn along the way then the end result might be a failure. But it was not worthless! We gained insights along the way!

We should rephrase it as: Celebrate learnings!

Final Words

We need to go back to square one and start to play with the process and the tools and celebrate the learnings along the way.

Posted in Agile Methodologies, Mindset on by

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