Up the creek without a paddle
My friend Mike Vizdos has a blog with cartoons called ImplementingScrum.com.
His latest cartoon is titled “Up the creek. Without a paddle.” See here. The idea is that if you want a specific change to happen or even to stay, you have to keep paddling.
Very simple idea. Very true.
Agile (Lean, Scrum, XP, etc.) is a change. A hard change, although also fun a lot, too. If you do not keep paddling, then Agile will be viewed as “the flavor of the month,” and things will revert to the mean (probably not good Agile, would be my normal guess).
If you stop paddling, things will continue to change, but not in the direction of better and better Agile.
To me, it is a shame to see people stop paddling in the direction of their dreams. Doing one’s best is hard, but it is something to be proud of. Something to live for. It may not always be fun, but in a deeper sense, joyful. Every success you have is an example for every other person who feels partially defeated, and the customers around the world need the great stuff you can create. Real customers. Real people. Kids, grandparents, mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers.
(As an aside, let us admit that even customers are not perfect. Many can be pretty bad sometimes, but we still feed even the lesser ones despite their weaknesses. Let us not pray for justice, for who would escape whipping. Let us pray for more generosity than that. The wiser ones have told us: It is more blessed to give.)
So, I hope you will see the value of Agile (of Scrum, XP, Lean and related ideas). If you do (and of course it is your choice), prepare yourself for the relentless pursuit of perfection. Prepare for the long march (my phrase for it).
Keep paddling, and have fun doing it. We should enjoy even the struggle part, as it makes us better.