About the Agile Mindset

What makes Agile Software Development methods different from Traditional Software Development methods? There are the obvious answers related to different techniques used, e.g. early integration rather than late integration or dividing the problem space from the client perspective (user stories) rather than the technology perspective (client-middleware-database). But essentially the major difference is in the mindset.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: South hangar panorama, including Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher seaplane & B-29 Enola Gay, among others by Chris Devers, on Flickr

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: South hangar panorama, including Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher seaplane & B-29 Enola Gay, among others by Chris Devers, on Flickr. Click on image for Creative Commons License information.


The main distinctive feature about Agile, in my opinion, is that people and teams are empowered. User stories instead of detailled use cases is a good example of empowerment. In many ways, Agile reminds me of “mission-type tactics“.

If you have not heard of mission-type tactics it works like this: Military commanders give orders in the form of goals e.g. “defend this bridge for at least eight hours so that I can securely move blue batallion over it“. The opposite, if you like, of mission-type tactics is “command-and-control“. In command-and-control the orders would be more like “setup a checkpoint at this bridge, contact me if anyone tries to cross it”.

Transforming to Agile is difficult when it goes beyond single teams. So is transforming to mission-type tactics. In a report, two US armed forces officers suggests using mission-type tactics specifically for information warfare.

References

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About Greger Wikstrand

Greger Wikstrand, Ph.D. M.Sc. is a TOGAF 9 certified enterprise architect with an interest in e-heatlh, m-health and all things agile as well as processes, methods and tools. Greger Wikstrand works as a consultant at Capgemini where he alternates between enterprise agile coaching, problem solving and designing large scale e-health services

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