Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Agile Master #3: Lessons on Agile Development from the Tao Te Ching

The Master, by residing in the Tao,
sets an example for all beings.
Because he doesn't display himself,
people can see his light.
Because he has nothing to prove,
people can trust his words.
Because he doesn't know who he is,
people recognize themselves in him.
- Tao Te Ching, Chapter 22

The Agile Master embodies what the team should be. He does not tell the team they need to change. Instead, he becomes the change. The Master will not draw attention to this, but others will notice. Through his actions, the Agile Master has earned the team's trust and respect. When he speaks, the team listens.

The Agile Master is not focused on himself, but on the team. He becomes what the team needs and, in doing, is a reflection of the team.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Agile Master #2: Lessons on Software Development from the Tao Te Ching

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"
- Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17

The Master Agile practitioner leads from behind. Ideally, the team should not realize that she is a leader. Too often people embody their titles and try to fill the role it implies rather than the role that is needed. They end up being loved by their team, but not leading. Or feared and actively block progress. Or despised and there is no team.

You must trust your team. Assume greatness and they will accomplish it.

When the Agile Master works, the team achieves. The team should see all work done by any subset as work done by the whole.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Agile Master #1: Lessons on Software Development from the Tao Te Ching

"Therefore the sages:
Manage the work of detached actions
Conduct the teaching of no words
They work with myriad things but do not control
They create but do not possess
They act but do not presume
They succeed but do not dwell on success
It is because they do not dwell on success
That it never goes away"
- Tao Te Ching, Chapter 2

Lets approach this from the perspective of an master Agile practitioner. The Agile Master must guide without guiding and teach without teaching. She will do this by being.

One does not merely write good code, but strives to teach others how to do the same and better. She does this not by creating good code, but by helping others discover how to write good code themselves. She manages the work of detached actions through others and teaches by letting others discover the correct path. Control is an illusion.

The greatest creation of a master is that which is created by others. The team will posses only what is created by all. None create alone. The team will succeed, but never dwells on success. Even failure is success. Therefore, there is only success.