A New Normal

“It’s just not reasonable to expect developers to <insert your Agile behavior request here>.”

I hear this all the time when working Agile transformations. The issue here is someone who is very effective in the current development process who resists an important change for working with an Agile team. This person is valuable to the organization now but will likely impede team formation and the Agile transformation. How do you deal with this situation?

We need to recognize that someone who is productive working in their own way may be very good in a traditional environment but doesn’t know what he or she is really capable of doing. The reality is that everyone in the team benefits from Agile methods. Success has demonstrated that people work better as part of a team that is focused on achieving a common goal.

Some may struggle to work well as a team member. But it’s important they learn how as the Agile transformation takes hold in more and more workplaces. Developers who object to Agile methods may not find alternatives available for much longer. Fortunately, I believe that anyone who is willing to experiment and adapt can learn to be comfortable doing things a new way.

When a team first starts moving to Agile they will become less effective in the short term. Everyone who is learning new habits puts energy into forming the habit which reduces the energy for doing other tasks. The beginning of a transformation is always marked by reduced effectiveness. The reward is after the new habits are learned a whole new normal for effectiveness becomes possible. The person who was really good in the old normal becomes part of an amazing team in the new normal. They produce more bug-free code. They produce it faster. It makes the customer happier. They enjoy work more.

That seems, to me, to be worth the effort to change.

For those in the New York City area struggling to understand how the new normal works for QA professionals, I am offering a two day Agile QA course. I’d love to meet you there.

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