Friday, September 25, 2015

CIOs as Agility Leaders: How do you Identify Agile Experts

An agile expert is somebody that has made many mistakes trying to be agile, not just doing Agile.

There are lots of people who talk about agile with all different roles: attitude and mindset are really hard to train. Experience and skills are much easier. If you're looking for someone to help, which would you think you should hold onto more tightly? Or to put simply, how do you define an Agile expert?

Agile expert is someone having a passion to learn and to continuously improve. Expertizing and to become agile is coming with time by learning + doing. A real expert is someone who's done it with many groups, with the actual processes tailored to the needs of the group in question. Some consultants are experts since they saw different companies and different models and they may train you and teach you, show a direction to go. What about the people who know more but understand less? People, especially people in a business situation, tend to be insecure, self-centered, ambitious, self-serving, lazy, self-protective, wary, distrustful, etc. Each of the normal human traits is an anathema to highly successful agile performance. The 'agile expert' will know the enemies of agile through experience and interchange with others who experience. However, that expert may apply his or her expertise by simply advising others to be aware and avoid such personal traits, or simply say, 'stop doing it if you want to do agile successfully. Change for the sake of change is not the right flavor of agile. Customer-centricity is a core principle of Agile.

Those who understand its principles, strengths and weaknesses and use the technology of real applications of merit earn the respect as an expert. Agile is a broad term. It connotes many skills, much knowledge and several abilities that must be coupled with the experience gained on a project to make the person an expert. For example, it requires leadership, communications (includes listening as well as talking) and design/programming/test skills. It requires knowledge of agile principles as well as the application domain and organization to succeed. Finally, it requires the ability to organize the team and motivate teammates to get the job done. An expert is someone who has internalized a process, skill, or idea across a wide range of contexts and is no longer bound by a set of rules. Instead, they are able to intuitively understand what is needed for an entire context of agility.

An agile expert is somebody that has made many mistakes trying to be agile, not just doing Agile. The more you know, the more you realize you don't know. Stand on a molehill and your horizon is only slightly greater than on flat ground. Stand on a mountain and you can see much more land than you can ever get completely familiar with. Yet you keep climbing. And you begin to notice other people on other mountains. It is very possible to get to such level with hard work and dedication. However, like any other title, it means nothing unless the community benefits from such person's expertise. On the other hand, real experts should be appreciated for what they are since they have spent significant time and effort in order to share with everybody else what they have learned.

The agile experts are able to work with groups and develop solutions and ideas that work for each unique group instead of listing a bunch of rules that should be followed. Agile Expert must also know how to work closely with a dedicated subject matter expert to get work well done, they are influential to build an agile culture, and they have the expertise to coach, facilitate and contribute to not just doing one single Agile project, but running an Agile organization.


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