Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Simple perspective on Agile talks

I promise not to turn this into a 'work blog' but one post won't kill any of the four readers I may have. Noel and I headed over to Sophos the other night to take part in an Agile Vancouver event hosted there. The discussion group was to be about 'Simplicity.'

Simply put, this outing proved to be of little value to us, as the gentlemen speaking worked in a completely different world than ours. While the strategy they put forward may have been viable, and they did look at it from many angles, there was little to take away from this particular meeting that we could apply back at the office. It just wasn't the most relevant topic for us.

Having said that, both of us were somewhat discouraged by this as we were hoping that this would be an informative event. Since both of us had little to eat before the meeting, we decided to grab some dinner and call it a night. We started talking about work over burritos and even though we were only there about twenty minutes (both Noel and I are fast eaters, and that may be putting it politely) we had covered some interesting ground about how we are managing things, and how we might be able to improve.

This morning we went over our thoughts once again, then showed our plan to our boss. It evolved as he shot a few holes into it, but it did survive and we began introducing some of those changes right away. Now, only time and metrics will determine if our changes are for the better. For me, the takeaway here is that even though the discussion group was of little benefit due to the choice of an irrelevant topic (for us,) it was still of a high value because it got us to look at how we do things in a different way. From that, we were able to speculate how certain changes could bring about improvement to how we do things.

It's either that, or I do my best work after having a beer.

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