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Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile by Allan Kelly

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10.1. Involve People

Ultimately, any change initiative needs to change the processes and practices followed by individuals. Since these individuals are people, not machines, we can't simply reprogram them as we would a computer. Nor can we rely on authority and orders. Even if we have the authority, business organizations aren't the army or navy, so we can't expect people to jump when we order them to do something.

It's surprisingly easy to fall into the trap of seeing people as obstructing change. Once we start to see people as a block to change, this view can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because we interpret their actions as resistance and change our approach to them.

We need to see our people not as blocks but as part of the solution to our problems. Individual people bring their knowledge and experience, which can be used to address our problems and exploit the opportunities that we face.

10.1.1. Motivation

People are far more effective and productive when they undertake tasks that they actively want to be doing. Traditional approaches to software development tend to ignore this aspect and substitute processes, rules and controls in order to ensure that people do what their managers want them to do. This is an artificial approach that tries to force through a set of defined actions rather than harnessing people's enthusiasm.

Agile development depends on individual and team commitment and enthusiasm. The challenge for leaders is to harness individuals' passions and motivate ...

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