Go Deep on Agile Practices: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How

One of the interesting things about having an outsider look at my work is that I have an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of what I do and, specifically, what I do differently from others. Joanna Geraldi gave me such an opportunity when she came to interview me about my approach to project management for some research. After the interview Joanna characterised my approach as "’real’ principle-driven agile project management". That got me thinking because for a long time I was far more concerned about practices than principles. It seems that has changed.
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Agile Infrastructure

A senior manager in the operations area of my organisation recently commented:

There is no such thing as agile infrastructure

That got me thinking. I can imagine that adopting an agile approach to infrastructure might be inappropriate in certain circumstances, for example military or medical domains.

On the other hand my current programme needed a completely new infrastructure stack and I found a considerable amount of agility was possible through that exercise. To my way of (probably simplistic) thinking any changes needed from the infrastructure are to provide either more capability or faster capability. With that in mind I’ve found it is possible to architect for agility and deliver the infrastructure in an incremental and iterative manner.
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Declaration of Interdependence

In 2004 some people met to define what agile project management should mean. In February 2005 they published a statement called the “Declaration of Interdependence” (DOI). According to David Anderson (Kanban and the DOI), one of the signatories, the intent was to:

  • define a value system by which modern 21st Century project managers should live and
  • galvanise a community around general application of agile project management

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Two Pillars of the Lean Thinking House

The Toyota approach to lean is quite sophisticated and is based on a model called the Lean Thinking House (Larman & Vodde, 2009). The Toyota model includes two pillars:

  • Respect for People
  • Continuous Improvement

These pillars struck a cord with me.  I’m normally more interested in what practices work than in values and principles however these two phrases seemed to nicely summarise my approach to work and are key themes in my career.


Larman, C., and Vodde, B. (2009). Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum. Addison-Wesley.