Chapter 11. Continuous Kindness

Nik Knight

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

The Agile Manifesto

We all know this, right?

Individuals and interactions cover many things—pair programming, daily standups, retrospectives, banter on Slack, random chats at the water-cooler. All that good stuff that we know greases the wheels and unblocks us when we’re stuck. The times we get this right, things just seem to work so much better and we get into that lovely state of flow. Simple, yeah?

Only it’s not, is it? My Twitter feed, conversations with friends and colleagues, the abundance of blogs, articles and five-point methods all over the internet—even books like this one—tell me that this stuff isn’t simple and that we haven’t got this basic principle down in a large number of our workplaces. Work doesn’t just flow; we are frustrated by conflicting priorities, overwhelmed by too much work in progress, hampered by unsuitable procedures, and struggling with tools that aren’t the silver bullet we thought (hoped) they would be.

And yet, shiny new tools, process improvements, scalable frameworks, and trendy methodologies get a hell of a lot of airspace, considering it is interactions between individuals that we know deep down is the real priority. So why is implementing a funky new ChatOps app so much more appealing than improving our working relationships?

The topic of ...

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