Jean-Baptiste Beurivé, Kaliop’s Operative Director, attended the event. It was a great opportunity to check the trends and to put the agile methodology implementation at Kaliop into perspective.
Please find below a summary of his thoughts about the event:
Judging by the amount of participants, agile methodology is generating a growing interest among the development community. I also observed good quality in the ideas presented and in the reflection processes. On the other hand, it seemed that some people tended to go too deeply into theoretical aspects. To me, they appeared to miss the main point of the agile methodologies. Above all, the objective is the organisation of software development teams, the work of the teammates and the relations between them.
Agile at Kaliop
A lot of projects go agile in an informal way thanks to small teams. It is possible to work with such team dimensions thanks to the high level of expertise of the persons involved in the projects. As the teams get bigger, the methodology needs to be formalised. Some of those teams apply SCRUM daily. But in the end, independently from the work group size, their management must be highly flexible.
What matters the most is to show common sense:
- Trust creates bounds between people. These bounds unite groups, which provide an important backing system during project’s challenging phases.
- Having fun at work helps people become more effective and efficient.
Here comes the point of games. I noted some interesting ideas for Kaliop’s organisation. For example, we could use different rules for communications. It would foster and tickle the pleasure (delight, amusement) of communication and idea exchange thanks to restrictions or chosen elements: a white board, a timer. We could even set up a role playing scheme.
A Great Challenge for Agile Methodologies: Distributed (International) Teams
The internationalisation of some projects represents an obstacle for some formal aspects of agile methodologies. Internally, it is sometimes difficult to work in agile within international teams that participate in the same project. For these methodologies, the spontaneity of the communication between collaborators is critical. Participative dialogue (around the same table, the same white board, the same post-it stack etc…) and spontaneous speech are limited. However our teams are resourceful and inventive which helps considerably to tackle and solve those problems. In the end, whatever the situation of the team and the adopted methodology are, the key is to stick to the principles of the agile philosophy and focus on the companies’ cultures: ours and the client’s. Here is a reminder of the foundations of the agile manifesto:
- We value individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- We value working software over comprehensive documentation
- We value customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- We value responding to change over following a plan
For further reading
- http://agiletour-montpellier.fr/ (fr)
- The event’s page on at2013.agiletour.org
- Resources from speaker conferences (fr/en)
- To follow discussions @atmtp
And you, how agile are you?