A Marketer’s Guide To Agile Development – There Are No Dumb Questions – Oh, Sure There Are…

Hey Marketers – Admit it, you chuckled that time you heard your Dev team brethren talk about “sending out an email blast” and that other time they confused the terms headline and tagline. News flash — Dev’s laughing at you too. Get acquainted with Agile so you’ll know better than to ask these side-splitters:

Can you give me admin rights to my computer so I can install Agile?

Nope. It’s a process, not a product. You would no more “install Agile” than you would “install cross-branding”. Well, maybe you might need to be set up with rights to certain sharing areas, virtual meeting tools, perhaps a project tool such as Basecamp or GoPlan. But you probably will not need anything at all installed in order to get involved in your company’s Agile process.

That stand-up meeting is really messing with my schedule – can we make it weekly instead of daily?

Don’t be such a Marketer. I know, it’s early. Yes, it’s daily. But if your organization uses scrum, and you’re the business owner, you gotta be there. If you’re not, the iterations happen without you. And decisions will be made that you may not like.

Just email me that Kanban, okay?

Well, maybe. A Kanban board is usually an actual board. It can be photographed and emailed, I guess. But (a) it’s changing constantly, and (b) a key point of Kanban is the players being there to look at it. Not every Agile shop uses Kanban, but it’s useful to know what it is.

How much does one of those Agile licenses cost?

Nothing. Bupkes. Agile is a decision you make to develop software in a certain way. There’s no Agile division of Microsoft trolling around to sell you a license for it. Yet.

Can I CapEx this Agile installation?

No. If you buy special furniture to accomodate an Agile environment, you could probably take that as a capital expense. But you don’t CapEx thought.

But it’s only 2:45. The release isn’t until 4:30. Why can’t you squeeze the great new idea I thought of in the shower this morning for the splash page nav into the release?

Because. Lean requirements and documentation may make Agile seem casual, but it’s not a stream of consciousness – there is discipline in a healthy Agile shop. There is a specific rhythm to the release schedule, and that rhythm includes hard dates. Requirements have due dates, and so does code complete (which means just what it sounds like). If you know so little about the release schedule that you think this is a legitimate question, reach out to someone on the dev team to explain it to you. Or click my previous post to learn that “we welcome changing requirements, even late in the development cycle” carries a little fine print.

Agile Humor – Words To Live By

Agilewashing – A waterfall shop that throws a scrum or two onto their schedule to seem cool. The Agile equivalent of a veneer, also known as “all hat, no cattle”.

Agillectomy – Removal of a development team’s efficiency gland by the new waterfall-loving CTO.

Hubristic Evaluation – When development teams assess usability by asking themselves what they would want if they were the user.

Documutation – Transformation of development notes from multi-page to post-it size.

Lame Theory – Mathematical constructs to predict how stupid decisions multiply in a group dynamic.

Kanbanista – Someone who is aggressively, revolutionarily passionate about colored tape on whiteboards.

Scrum of the earth – An Agile team that recycles.