A few people (aside from those I work with) have contacted me recently asking “where do I start?” or “is there an Agile 101?”
The first thing to note is that it’s not as simple as watching a video, reading a book, or attending a course. Yes, those can be useful introductions, but the most important thing to understand about Agile is that it isn’t a series of checklists or processes to follow – it isn’t a silver bullet to solve your organisation’s problems. In fact, some people dislike/distrust Agile because it can shine a light on problems that they’ve happily swept under the carpet for many years; transparency and honesty are not things every organisation values because it can be a threat to the status quo.
OK, so as long as we understand it’s a journey which takes time, practice, experimentation and constantly striving for improvement (and of course there’ll be some setbacks along the way!), here are a few introductory resources:
- Start by understanding the Agile Manifesto – it’s brief but it’s not simple! Do you agree with it? Does your organisation agree with it? If not, tackle that before you step into Agile!
- “What is Agile?” (12 minute video)
- What Does It Mean to Have an Agile Mindset? (brief article)
- Modern Agile (12 min video)
Once you’ve got a reasonable understanding of the basics of Agile, revisit why you’re looking into it – what do you (or your organisation) hope to gain by adopting a more agile approach to what you do? Changing something as fundamental as the way that you work is going to take time and effort – don’t expect a quick fix! How are the people in your “adjacent” groups (those who you interact with fairly often) going to respond, because changing how you work will impact those around you too.