“We are what we frequently do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit”.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle said once: “you are what you do frequently”, so you can not say that you are a charitable person just because you’ve made a donation once in your life, or that you are adventurous person just because you have tried bungee jump when you were 17 years old. Nor you can say that your organization is agile just because one of your 25 team mates have tried TDD in his slack time. Nor you can say that your organization has a learning culture just because you guys have one technical talk per year. No way. Yes, Aristotle knew what he was saying.
The point is “we can say that we are agile because we are frequently doing agile practices” and “we can say that we are a learning organization because we are frequently learning” by trying to do things differently.
The problem is that too often people forget what make them agile, or what makes an organization a learning organization, or what makes a team a clean code team, or whatever they want to be.
That’s why we are using a very simple tool, that I’ve called practices wall, this is nothing more than a place in our team’s wall with all our practices explicit in little icons (see pictures bellow).
We have practices like “writing user stories”, “retrospective meetings”, “deliver software every week”, “work in pomodoro cycles”, “pair programming”, etc.
Every once a while we take the practices to our retrospective meeting and discuss which practices we are really doing, and which we are not, then we discuss if any of them does not make sense anymore, and sometimes we add new practices to the wall. Some practices can even have metrics related to them, that could help the team to have insight.
Is your team agile? Why? Are do you guys do frequently that makes us agile?