Importance Of Attitude in Agile Projects

11 Mar, 2008
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While I was reading some chapters from the book “Toyota way“, the author was mentioning the importance on hiring the “Talented people”.
I also found institute’s giving training like “ Job Instruction (JI) is the Toyota way for worker training and people development.“.
With my recent experience on Agile-Scrum based projects, I started realizing how important is “Attitude” of the person involved in an agile team.
Some might say attitude is important in any kind of projects (say Waterfall based projects). I feel that compared to waterfall based projects, agile project team requires lots of collaboration and interaction between the team members, team member with the product owner, product owner with stakeholders and so on.
The attitude of an agile team member is crucial during the entire project time. Timely feedback from the customer is the heart of the agile project to be successful.
IMHO, the readiness of the customer to give quality feedback to the development team and the ability of the development team work on that feedback is pretty much depends on attitude.
The author of the book “Code Craft: The Practice of Writing Excellent Code” Pete Goodliffe and the author of the book “Agile Java: Crafting Code with Test-Driven Development were also giving stress on how important is attitude on a small discussion in Javaranch.

There is a clear main theme. My observation is that there is one thing that sets “exceptional” programmers apart from merely “adequate” (let alone “poor”) programmers.
It’s this: their attitude.
They *care* about programming. They *care* about programming well.
If a programmer has the correct attitude to the task, all other things will follow.
Think about the great programmers you’ve met along the way.

The author of the book “Practices of an Agile Developer” Venkat Subramanium mentions about the importance of attitude while he was coaching a team in Holland.

The team, the project, and the setting are what I would define as ideal for agility. The project has everything that’s needed to succeed a highly motivated team (that’s an understatement), superb attitude of each one on board, a fantastic work area (what a great lab, we have about ten people all working in this open space and the five eight hour days felt like five minutes, no interruptions or distractions, we had undivided focus on project), and an organization with leaders committed to succeed.

James Shore’s in his blog also mentions about attitude from the continuous integration perspective Continuous Integration is an Attitude, Not a Tool

Contrary to popular belief, continuous integration is an attitude, not a tool. It’s a shared agreement by the team that:
1.When we get the latest code from the repository, it will always build successfully and pass all tests.
2.We will check in our code every two to four hours.

If you have read my recent blog “Make Scrum team sync and happy“, you might understand how important is the attitude of a Scrum master towards his/her team member.
I believe it is not very easy to change ones attitude overnight, it do requires lots of support from the entire team, ability to accept constructive criticism, willingness to cooperate and openness.
If you some have other interesting point or facts about this topic, please post it as a comment.

Balaji D Loganathan
Working as a Senior Consultant at Xebia India IT Architects Private Limited, Gurgaon, India.

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