Agile – Short talk with my 10 years old inquisitive son

Image of Munish Kumar
Munish Kumar
Conversation between my son and I
Ever since we have faced the Covid-19 pandemic, it has impacted us in several ways and one of the positive impacts is that it forced everyone to stay home together.

This helped us to increase the family bonding, if not willingly but forcefully 😊MeAndMySon

Well, being in IT, especially the part of a great organization that is creating a big positive impact on society by improving connectivity solutions, including 5G, it had little impact on my work. (it has increased actually !!)

My work from home schedule includes being on calls several times a day, and few words that caught the attention of my 10 years old son were Agile, SAFe, JIRA, Story, EPIC, Iteration, Acceptance criteria, DevOps, Kanban, CI/CD, etc.

My son, Aarav, who has always been in surprise as to what I do on my laptop the entire day and how am I contributing to my company and society just by typing few things on laptop asked me what do these words mean?

Why do I refer them so often in my calls?

Our conversation went like this.

For sure, this is not what these words actually mean or the definition is not that narrow, but I hope he understood something and doesn’t come back to me with another set of questions, very soon.

Me: Last night when we were watching the movie, there was an advertisement for Pizza and you said to mom to make Pizza the next morning.

Aarav: yes

Me: Okay, but then why today morning you asked mom to make bread toast instead of Pizza?

Aarav: Because, by the morning, my mood changed and I didn’t want to have Pizza, what’s big deal? Come back to my question about the words and don’t try to change the subject 😊

That’s what we call agile. Your mom gave you what you wanted even if this was different than what you asked last night. If the need changes, the offering should be flexible enough to meet stakeholder needs.

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

Aarav: Really? That’s all, anything else?

Me: Well, instead of bread toast if your mom could have given you a nice picture of the bread toast and a great recipe on how to make the world’s best toast, what would have been your reaction.

Aarav: I would have been sad. What do I do with pictures or recipes? I need real bread toast.

That’s also agile.

Working software is the primary measure of progress.

Aarav: But after one bread toast, I asked mom not to make another one but give me cornflakes.

This is also agile, my son 😊

Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.

Aarav: But, what if mom had done the preparations of the pizza last night, it would have been a waste?

Again, that’s also agile.

Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.

Aarav: Dad, enough of my breakfast, I am not sure if I understood correctly, do you have some other example?

Me: Okay, last evening you were having a video call with your friend, as your school is about to open, to check about the holiday homework?

Aarav: Yes, I was.

Me: Why Video call? Why didn’t you used WhatsApp chat to discuss the things?

Aarav: Dad, what you saying? Why would I write so much in chat, so spelling mistakes, confusion, etc when I had the option to call him directly?

That’s exactly what Agile says.

The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

Aarav: Okay, if you are not in the mood to explain these things to me. Leave it. All you are explaining is just common sense which anyone will do naturally and I don’t see why you get so much money just to tell these things.

Well, in a way, he is right. After all, Agile is about applying common sense !!

Isn't it? What do you think?


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