The whole Cagley family!

The whole Cagley family. Happy Thanksgiving!

My family gathers to celebrate a mixture of Thanksgiving and Christmas annually.  We started this tradition years back, when we needed to find a way for all of us to celebrate together, given our wide geographic distribution and complicated schedules.  This isn’t all that different from scheduling stand-up meetings for distributed teams.  Tradition is a friend that keeps our family or our team together. 

Traditions represent events and activities that have been ritualized or codified because they delivered value. Life gets complicated when traditions do not evolve and are held onto past the point that they continue to deliver value.

In the IT world we have many traditions  . . . we call them methodologies, processes and frameworks.  These are engineering traditions that delivered value based on a set circumstances and conditions.  When the circumstances or conditions change, traditions must also change.  When our family gatherings began we were all able to sleep under a single roof.  Age, children and tolerance to noise has now caused a change in venue and spread us across three houses.  Traditions have had to evolve in order to continue to deliver value.

Agile proponents have a history of experimentation leading to the evolution of Agile. History of evolution is its own tradition.  All traditions must evolve to keep pace with changing environments and circumstances or risk losing value.  Twenty plus people in a single house will lead to bottlenecks in the same manner as a process without work in process limits.