It starts in your head

You can read a lot about agile. The internet is a never ending source of advice for implementing scrum or other agile methods. During my work I recognized that implementing these methods is not about adopting a framework. It is far more. It is about giving the people the chance to understand the difference to their „old“ world.

But what is the difference, that is hard to accept: We are humans and not human-like acting machines. This sounds ridiculous but it’s true. In the Agile Manifesto you can read

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools“.

And that is what matters. We are individuals with a variety of individual behaviour in a working environment. We interact differently and have different needs in terms of communication. And we are not a bunch of logically plugged devices with the aim to produce software. So, please use your brain to interact with each other and give your agile fellows (including managers) the chance to accept the fact, that you are not human-like acting machines.

With keeping this in mind and starting in your head, you make your first step towards agile.

Gemba Walk

The Gemba Walk is a way in which managers learn about their workers in an industrial plant. The goal of such a gemba walk is to see how production works. They can see how products flow through the production system and how these product grow and get finished. Due to the fact that the gemba walk was introduced in industrial production, it was easy for managers to see, what happens with the product in each step of the production line. In agile software teams there are many workers building a virtual product: software. You can’t see the product flow through the system. But you can see what the team members do.

Agile teams use tools to show their progress, problems, work and lots of ohter stuff. Transparency is the word for many aspects in agile work. A gemba walk will mainly focus on these visual tools.