- Nov 2020
Agile favors “generalists” or “generalizing specialists” who are largely substitutable. This is a good practice, but individuals are still important, and so are experts.
As a "generalist" myself I completely understand this point. For multitasking teams having "jack of all trades" is a necessity. But you cannot have team built only out of experts for all - again talking from personal experience, because you need specialists and one "head" to keep the multitasking and different tracks together.
The second statement advocates the use of “self-organizing” teams - that is, teams that have no designated leadership or predefined structure. A self-organizing team might select its leadership from within the team, and define its structure, but none is defined from the outside.
Again, same problem - from my experience, agile fails if the team is asymmetric i.e. have very differently capable individuals. Without a clear leadership it will not self regulate.
The first statement says to “trust the team”. That is fine, except that it says this without adding any qualification, such as “trust but verify”, or “trust but check on them to make sure they are on track.”
This can work only in ideal world where you have a team of outstanding independent professionals with very similar work ethic and habits.
One of the better explanations of the agile philosophy (better term than methodology). As mentioned in the text, it was a response to a slow and rigid structure, but it is far from ideal. The text advocates some changes/improvements - Agile 2.0 Key points:
- enable people to focus instead of multitask
- leadership is necessary -fortunately there are different options/modalities
- be flexible
- bringing back focus to individuals from team