Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Changing People's Mindset

One of the biggest challenges with building and fostering an agile team is to change people's mindset. It didn't take me long to realize that brain washing is not an option, although it is very tempting!

There are different approaches. One approach is to wait until a good opportunity comes up. For instance if there is a particular bug that was extremely painful and maybe somebody suggests to add one more step to the build process.

That's your signal! Ask what that additional step is and ask for more details. Then ask whether the additional step can be automated. And if the answer is 'yes', then ask to add the automation of that step to the build masters backlog. You don't have a build master? Well, then you have just identified yet another item that the team should put in place. You don't have a build master backlog yet? Well, there you go! Yet another opportunity.

So bottom line: This one single event can trigger the introduction of no less than three agile techniques: Automated Testing, Build Master, and Backlog.

The more I work with teams the less I see the need to push things out. Instead there are actually quite a lot of opportunities that present themselves. In other words: You don't have to wait long until such an opportunity is there. And then you can suggest the techniques that worked wonderfully in the past.

And by asking the right questions, again and again, including "How can we test this?" and "How can we automated this?" you drive your message home. Asking the same questions again and again will make sure that people start to change their minds. I have seen it more than once. Just keep insisting on answers to those two and similar questions. Be gentle but insist on those answers. It will pay off!

No comments:

Hostgator promo code