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Agile 101

Here in the DUL Information Technology Services organization, we continue to embrace Agile concepts, applied to many different types of projects, including the Integrated Library System (ILS), the development of specialized repositories, and even the exhibits hosted in the Libraries. Check out the amazing new Senses of Venice exhibit that opened last week.

I like to think of Agile as a mindset rather than a specific tool set or framework (like scrum).  The four values envisioned in the 2001 Agile Manifesto were devised in deliberate contrast to the rigor and slowness of erstwhile software development practices, and these concepts are still quite relevant today:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

Sometimes, when things develop as a backlash, the pendulum can swing too far the other way and we throw out some of the tried and true good bits.  On the other hand, we can slip back, as described in Steve Bank’s HBR piece, “When Waterfall Principles Sneak Back into Agile Workflows”.

Pendulums swing, but basically, when you face uncertainty, try something you think might work, get feedback, and adjust accordingly.

 

 

 

 

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