Leadership and technical practices must be balanced

Leadership and technical practices must be balanced

What is Agile?  It is easy to be lulled into believing that Scrum and the practices encompassed by that framework is all that is need to be a mature Agile organization. A broader view of Agile requires a balance between both leadership practices and technical practices.

In Eastern philosophy, Yin and Yang reflect the two complementary forces that make up the aspects of life; male and female, heaven and earth, chocolate and peanut butter or planning and construction. Leadership practices include planning, control and collaboration activities.  Scrum, the most popular Agile framework, fits into the category of leadership practices.  Technical practices include automated testing, build scripts, user stories, emergent design, pair programmer and other activities needed to create functionality. Extreme Programming (xP) and Test Driven Development (TDD) are methodologies that have significantly more technical focus. The combination of Yin and the Yang of leadership and technical practices yields a more complete development environment.  Just doing one or the other set of practices does not deliver a project.

To be a mature Agile organization, both the technical and leadership aspects of the development process have to be addressed.  The leadership practices, such as planning and collaboration, help synchronize and focus the technical processes in order deliver the most value possible.