Jeff Sutherland’s TEDx Talk on Life Changing Agility – How I relate to it

Here I’m supplying a link to a recent talk Jeff Sutherland in which he describes his life in the military and the as yet unnamed Agile practices he was applying 50 years ago.

We progress through the years and end with the life affirming, humane characteristics of Agility. School kids are defining their own learning through ownership of the outcomes. Kids only use the teacher to get through problems.

This reminds me of a year 9 drama class. We were having a lot of fun and learning and the teacher was amazed at her ‘lack of involvement’. She invited a district supervisor, not sure if that was the title, to observe. Unfortunately I think we noticed that we were being observed and froze somewhat. Our teacher was embarrassed, the observer seemed to have an incredulous look. Us students knew something went wrong. I felt a little bad about it but felt powerless or unequipped to deal with it.

Looking back and knowing what I know now, that teacher was on the right track. She lacked a framework to inspect and adapt. Something like a Scrum Framework. We failed to self organize on one occasion and unfortunately we regressed to be told what to do. We should have reflected on that failure and put in measures to prevent it occurring again. 

Can you think of a time when you could have improved a situation simply by taking a meaningful look at what happened and agreeing to make changes to prevent it happening again.

I know it happens everyday. There are many instances in the past that I can recollect.


4 responses to “Jeff Sutherland’s TEDx Talk on Life Changing Agility – How I relate to it

  • inavukic

    I guess the best trick is to acknowledge and accept one’s inability to change things that occur one does not like or want, once we accept our inability to change what has occurred we are in the right frame of mind to work on what can be done to prevent it from happening again. I think reacting with anger and rejection at something we don’t like/want stops us from being constructive towards the future so we need to see the anger and push it away

    • Nick

      Yes, it’s still human to think those emotions, but lets transcend and look at the root causes without those emotions so we can minimise the bad effects of those emotions. Taking it further, the emotions of anger can be harnessed. There is a problem being expressed this way. It’s a sympton which is a signpost to the real problem. We use conflict in problem solving. It’s good because we get good ideas or alternatives. Conflict which attacks the person is not helpful.

      • inavukic

        I think that anger comes from the “attack” even if it is only perceived attack on anything we stand for or welcome, feel good about, feel safe with etc. If we linger in anger much gets lost and some things get damaged … I agree that conflict which attacks the person is not good that’s why, I think, if faced with such we need to turn it around if possible or “count the losses” and concentrate on any possible gains even if it is making up for losses …

  • Nick

    A Hunt & V Subramanian: No such thing as a stupid user, a stupid arrogant developer – Every complaint holds a truth.

    In my experience most people take an attack as personal. The astute Project Manager does take it personally. So many are ill equipped to deal with it, mostly papering over the issues or attacking the person back. Some training from an early age would help, lead by examples from teachers and trainers.

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