Agile adoption or transformation is disruptive. As your organization implements new processes naturally obstacles are going to pop up and the general rule of thumb is to attack those problems in the name of progress. Sometimes your not in a state to attack certain problems and sometimes you can hit them head on. The key is to find balance and know when to whiz on the electric fence and when to avoid it.
I’ve been involved in discussions where if you don’t attack certain problems, you’re not progressing towards Agility. In my younger and less-experienced days I would whiz pretty much anywhere because that’s what I was brough in to do. Make obstacles and problems aware and help find solutions for them. Maybe I’m getting old(er) and more mature now so I’ve learned how to find a better balance.
Recently I ran into one of these fences and my first instict was to whiz on it. Then I realized at that particular point it wasn’t part of this specific phase of the adoption. It’s certainly a battle I will need to fight down the road, but for now it’s best to leave it alone and focus on the immediate needs.
I guess the lesson I’m trying (poorly) to get across is that different people will approach this problem differently. Purists may whiz away without consequence in the ‘name of Agile’ whereas pragmatists may avoid it entirely and be shamed as ‘not being Agile’. All of that is nonesense. Every transition I’ve been part of has had immediate, short and long-term objectives. Some battles simply need to wait until the time is right and if that’s ‘not Agile’, so be it. I’d rather not be Agile than cause harm to an organization by whizzing on an electric fence, no matter how stupidly placed that fence may be.
By the way, I’m hoping some will get the ‘whiz on the electric fence’ reference from a rather entertaining 90′s era cartoon.