Sunday, November 15, 2009

Musicianship and agile development

People have asked my why I gravitated toward agile development after a long career with heavy control-driven process. (I have experience with RUP and it can be misused just in such a way).

After thinking about it quite a bit, agile collaboration is part of my upbringing, being a musician. I'm not just a musician, but the lowest form of musician - a bass player. I play tuba and bass guitar and it's pretty unusual for a bass player to take the lead - particularly a tuba player. The job of a good bass player is to support the rest of the band by providing a heartbeat and foundation. When playing bass guitar, I've always felt myself more of a percussion player with notes than another type of guitar player. It's better to play one note or rep over and over correctly and on beat than a Vic Wooten style riff that doesn't work.

Musicians, by nature, have to collaborate. They have to support eachother or have a collective train wreck. While there is some ability to grab glory, the point of the music is the product itself, not the spotlight of a solo.

Next time you're thinking of how agile is different, think about musicianship and the mutual support of musicians. It'll change the way you think of the project.

1 comment:

Alena Shechkova said...

Charles, it is a very successful comparison of agile development and the musicianship. Yes, an agile team like a musician team supplement each other in its play.