It has been a while since I wrote on this site. My mothers illness has been demanding and we as a family have shared a lot of time together with her and after she died together without her. Now we are picking up daily life again. Back to work and for me that means back to the Agile domain. After her funeral I went to Cluj where Maria Diaconu has created a very vibrant Agile community woth OpenAgileRomania. I presented on end user participation and had a very good time with a lot of Agile people from the area. Directly after Cluj I went to another conference to present as well.
So at the moment I am travelling a lot. Almost every time it is about Agile, presenting at a conference, being in meetings, working on the Agile Consortium, etc. It is fascinating to see so many people in the Agile domain since we wrote the Agile Manifesto in February 2001 in Salt Lake City. Also it is fascinating to see what people know, how the use it and how they share. Every now and then I notice people missing the point completely. In general that is not a problem, we all have to learn and grow. So not knowing, either missing the point in Agile or not knowing the origins of Agile and the Agile Manifesto, is not something that gets me in shock completely. I get in a state of shock when people are on stage as key note, use words as “stupid” a number of times when the mention other methods and in line with this make serious errors on stage. I hate it when people insult and are rude, I get in shock when people see themselves as experts and they dont even know the origins.
We all know Scrum dominates the Agile domain. We also know Scrum has a focus on the Agile software production process. Most other methos represented in Salt5 Lake City have. About change management, documentation, end user participation, acceptance, etc. things have to be added in the project cycle. I do understand when people don’t know, but I really get annoid when I see a key note speaker at a conference showing a slide on stage with the text that sais there is no full delivery method in Agile. The methods represented (not methodology, methodology is the science about methods) in Snowbird when we wrote the Agile Manifesto cover every inch of the IT-solution-delivery steps. Some of them have a focus on production of software, that is true, but the whole area is covered.
When someone sais on stage there is now full delivery method in Agile he or she misses the origins of Agile. DSDM has always been, is and always will be a full delivery method! It comes from best practice from RAD User Groups (RUG’s) in the early nineties, was captured in DSDM which represented by me when we wrote the Agile Manifesto. The key note on stage by the way, said we in IT seem the forget all the time and tend to re-invent every 5 to 10 years. I have to congratulate him, he did that too when he wrote his method 4 years ago…..
I will not use names, I will not insult, I just want to express that there is a full delivery method. It was there in Februari 2001 (and many years before that). The advantage is you don’t have to fill in gaps your own way. You can use what has been invented already via best practice so don’t worry, it is not from behind a desk. You have a full Agile process covering the whole lot and which can be used in a strong way with Scrum or even Prince-2 if you like. Whenever you want to know more mail me, call me, go to www.dsdm.org or go to www.agileconsortium.net (under construction atm).
Last year in Salt Lake City I noticed a lot of people struggling with the same issues as in the early nineties. How do I know I help the business? How do I get the people representing the end user community in the project to define and review the evolving solution? How do I achieve required quality? How do I get the solution accepted by the end user community? And so on….
When people uses a framework there will always be gaps and questions. Some people fill in the gaps their own way and some need a little support. No matter how you fill in the gaps, make sure that the people doing this are well equiped, well skilled and on the content real professionals.
Last week I was contacted by 2 authors in the Netherlands to write a forward. Their topic? Testing and Scrum. Being part of the Agile community and knowing Scrum is dominant as Agile method at the moment they brought together best practice (of their own) from their own expertise in Testing. When I did read their manuscript it was striking how much of their content was in line with DSDM , the Agile method I did bring into the Agile Manifesto. After all, also DSDM was best practice brought together so there is a lot of common sense.
At this moment I am writing the forword. When it is published I will let you know!
Holiday season is over, work has started. Agile is more vibrant then ever. In Eastern Europe there is also a lot happening at the moment. More and more I get questions for a stable European Agile platform. It should be a platform to go to for innovation, standardisation, certification, etc. It should be independent from methods and companies and with a strong presence throughout Europe covering a shared European approach. Since April I am next to my day to day work for PMtD and at the Rotterdam University chair of the Agile Consortium International. The Agile Consortium is international organised with a focus on Europe. Until April this year the international activities were low frequent and with little exposure.
I have decided to create this independent European Agile body and agreed a plan on this with the excisting chapters in Belgium and the Netherlands. Since then we have achieved a lot. The structure of the European body will be with so called regional chapters, mostly covering a country. At this moment we have 6 prospect chapters. Rumania, Switserland and Poland are most likely the first ones being formally a legal entity and locally organised. Bulgaria, Germany and maybe even the Ukraine will be a little later.
Still a lot has to be done. One of the founding members of the Rumanian chapter will help us to get the web site at the level where it belongs on the short term. Also we are working on a (part of the) web site where you can find everything about independent Agile certification. When it is up and running I will let you know via tweets and posts. More to come….
I have been away a while. A short break and not so nice events in my personal life took my attention. With your mother and also best friend being diagnosed with cancer you prioritise in a different way. It gives life also perspective. Nevertheless life goes on and also progress on the European Agile coöperation. Earlier I have mentioned possible growth in Eastern Europe. As chair of the Agile Consortium International it is my prime objective to create an international European Agile platform. Despite my silence there is more news on this.
At this moment the Agile Consortium and the DSDM Consortium are investigating possibillities for coöperation. Objective is to create one stable Europen Agile platform for innovation, knowledgesharing and accreditation. There are many initiatives but very often locally organised. My ambition is to create this platform to facilitate international activities from a shared vision with the objective(s) as written above.
As mentioned, the Agile Consortium International (with chapters in Netherlands and Belgium) is connecting with the DSDM Consortium (with chapters in Sweden and the UK). By the end of August we hope to have things more clear. At the same time we have serious initiatives, in various stages of creating a new chapter, in Rumenia, Poland and Germany. Also 2 more countries have shown interest as well. In the next couple of weeks I hope to have more news about them too.
At this moment we are finalizing the year 2011 – 212 at the Rotterdam University for Professional Education. Funny to see that for most students and lecturers there is no real end-of-year. We are all working and planning throughout the months July and August. Plans for graduation projects, individual work on topics people are a little behind on. The whole machine keeps runinnign during the summer. Whenever you are a studnt keep this in mind. Yes, I will be away a while too but most of the time I will read and mail and my phone is open at all times, unless I am on the bike or a sleep of corse .
Today I discussed possible European cooperation in Agile innovation and development.It was great to see that in a meeting of over 10 people my proposal was accepted by all. This will mean in new areas we will offer companies and individuals the opportunity to start a local (or national) chapter of an interest group connected to the Agile Consortium. The upcoming weeks there will be conversations with representatives from Poland, Rumania and Oekraine. I will keep you posted!
Yestdray during my presentation at Le Blanc, and tonight at Nijenrode again, human behaviour plays an important role. In Agile for me facilitation is therefor absolute key to succes. It creates speed and productivity, is a platform for overview, acceptance and consensus and will lead to quality for end user and business perspective. Facilitating sessions in a project has to be done the right way or it can and will lead to disaster before you know it. Therefor I am always looking for really trained and experienced facilitators and I prefer when they are trained within the framework of the 6 core competenties of the IAF.
I don’t know about you but the expression Management Consultancy feels like a contatiner with no bottom. You can throw almost everthing in there. Never the less I have to admit attention for management when you introduce Agile is essential for succes. Nothing is more depressing than a whole group or department being enthousiast for and doing pilots in Agile, not suppoorted by management. So yes, when I work on implementing Agile there will be a lot of time spend with the management (as well)).
Yesterday I was presenting at Le Blanc Advies in Apeldoorn, NL. Hans Kalle presented his experience with introducing I Scrum, I shared principles and experience with Agile in general, Atern and Scrum specific and also we had a lot of interaction. Good views and also good learnings for everyone. It was great being there.
Welcome to my renewed website. My name is Arie van Bennekum and on this site you will find all sorts of information. The core of this information is Agile with related topics. The information is categorized around Agile itself, Facilitation, my work at the Rotterdam University and some general info.
Look around and let me know what you think! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave something at LinkedIn. At Twitter you can find me at #arievanbennekum.