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Entries in agile quality business value (1)


Business Value & Quality are the same: Convincing the Organization

Seeking and engendering accountability amongst an agile team is one of several difficult transformations within the maturation process. Unfortunately, some of us are still of the belief that accountability can be 'encouraged' or influenced from a motive outside the team. Although this approach may ultimately work, it's far more likely to fail, because the only lasting form of accountability, is that which the team builds within itself.

For every developer on a modern agile team, the motivation to achieve a date is still important, but what has now ascended above it, is the motivation to build a high quality product at a sustainable pace. Do no devalue the pride a developer feels in delivering high quality craftsmanship, as opposed to just simply delivering it on time. The irony here is that the business ends up with far more intrinsic value with the former. Business value and quality are one in the same, and cannot be separated. We have 40 years of software development to back up this claim.

And so, yes, i too would love it if teams could report on their status at the demo, and to explain why certain stories weren't completed, but with respect to time and maturity, we weren't able to make it work. As long as that explanation does not take the form of an apology to an external source, because if accountability is flowing upwards and outside the team, we have only paper accountability that crumbles with the slightest pressure. Bravery and not fear must be the prevailing emotion on the team.

Our current answer is to put our faith and trust in the Agile leaders of those teams, and to invest in their training. A team that is forced to adopt scrum without understanding the underlying principles and values, is a listless team with unpredictable quality and productivity. We may ultimately force them to meet dates, thinking it is the right thing to do, but at what cost? The Agile Leader is responsible for building a culture where both quality and execution are sought, and where much pride is taken from achieving both.