Friday, April 13, 2012

The trunk is the trunk

Mile High Agile 2012 was last week – a great opportunity to reconnect with fellow agilists, to learn a little something new, and to generally have a good laugh at the Sogeti booth. I got to provide fodder for some of those laughs. After a session where we learned how to coach teams to better understand the values and principles of scrum and agile, I was explaining the different parts of the tree that was created, and said something inane: “…the trunk is the trunk.”  I don’t now remember the context but in retrospect, have an idea.

Throughout the agile conference, there was a lot of presentations about how to practice X or how to explain Y … success stories and guidelines were in abundance. Old colleagues re-connected, new acquaintances made stronger connections. All of this was the trunk of the conference, and the trunk of agile.


The scrum values (openness, courage, focus, commitment, respect) dance around it. The Agile principles get a little closer (work together daily, face-to-face conversation, team reflection). But one of the main foundations of agile is simple. Talk to each other. Communicate as well as humanly possible.

Communication is the trunk of our trees. Our roots may be the strong values on which we base our business relationships. Our leaves may be the agile principles and/or the characteristics of high-functioning teams. Our fruits are definitely the outstanding results and achievements.

But that tree is nothing without communication.

Just as real estate agents will all say “Location, location, location,” agile practitioners (experienced and novice) may want to adopt the mantra “Communicate, communicate, communicate.” Or, for those who like more simple language “Talk, talk, talk.”

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