Wednesday, July 8, 2009

truly agile projects that aren't named agile

I watched Apollo 13 this weekend with my family. It was amazing to watch how the normally staid, by-the-book operations at Flight Control moved into a smoothly humming agile team, with the flight director (was it Kraft at the time? I forget) coordinating all the efforts. He wasn't quite a scrum master - he owned more than just the process - but he managed the process very smoothly. The movie didn't show distinct agile events either (retro, stand-up, demo). These were all included in the ad hoc meetings. Great, the carbon dioxide's been reduced (retro moment), now in order to adjust the re-entry angle, what can we do (story gathering)? Who can do that (task assignment)?

Studying the stories of potential failures turned into great successes can give us a lot of insight into how we can manage projects on a regular basis, when death isn't on the line (hmm... that's a Princess Bride quote. I think that might require another post).