Eh….It wouldn’t be the first time. I doubt it will be the last.
Let me say up front that I agree with most of what they have to say. The only part I really have a problem with is the first tenant -” There are no best practices…” I partially agree. Is there one single, works in every situation best practice? Of course not! Still with me Agile Disciples?
I’ve learned a lot from observing how people do things. Especially the ones that do things well. It is something I learned from a very wise, yet crusty, Senior NCO that I used to work for when I was in the Air Force. Field Training Detachment (FTD) 910, Hahn Air Base, Germany. We would get inspection reports all the time from similar units that just completed a major inspection. 90% were rated Satisfactory, 1% got the absolute highest rating – Outstanding (the rest failed). In any of the reports if a unit did something very well it was highlighted in the final report by the inspection team. Usually with a good description of what they did to achieve the highest rating – a “best practice”. We would comb thru these reports and compare what they did to what we were doing. Then we would try to do as well or better. Of course the Failed reports were valuable too. We made sure we were not doing the same thing! We did this for every process or task we had. The result – we got an Outstanding Rating! In most cases, we now owned the best practice. It was by far the most rewarding job I ever had!
There are hundreds, if not thousands of best practices. For any give problem, issue, or situation there are some people who have put a lot of thought into it. They found a great way to do it. They are successful and they should be looked at as an example of how to do something well. Role models.
The life-cycle of any best practice is short however. It’s only a best practice until someone makes it better. Like we did. Eventually someone probably topped us (they had not before I left).
Will any Best Practice apply 100% – of course not! But there may be pieces of it that work very well. Take it as a foundation – a starting point – and modify it to meet your needs. I probably carry around dozens of best practices to every consulting engagement I’m on. I pull out the ones that best fit, then tweak them as needed. Voila! A new best practice is born.
Now ‘THAT’s Agile! OK – bring on the hammer and nails – I’m ready.