Developers come to work each day in the hope of refactoring. Yep! Every developer reading this that has worked with crumby code is nodding their head right now. I'll explain why that is but also I want to make the case that it is absolutely in the interest of an organisation to prioritise refactoring in to every iteration/thing you do.
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A common thing agile teams are asked to do is plan, given historical performance, how much work they think they can reasonably commit to in a fixed increment of time. I'm going to tell you that in most cases, this is the most destructive thing you can do to a team, a product and your business.
Why? Because you are passively planning to be mediocre.
The purpose of the daily scrum (you might call it a standup), is for the team to plan the day. Think about that for a second. When was the last time you left a daily scrum where the team had a plan? That isn't the way it normally plays out.
The agile manifesto was written in 2001. That is 15 years ago ! With the amount and rate of change our industry has undergone in that time, has our understanding and application of those ideas held true to the original goal? No really, has it? Does Scrum really value 'People and interactions over processes and tools'? Not in a lot of organisations. Some, but not many.
A friend of mine recently asked me for advice on convincing his boss to start adopting some ‘agile-inspired’ principles in the department he looks after.
He explained that there is an anti-agile culture where he works and that questions over working practices generally got shot down quite quickly. That made his life more difficult because he hadn’t got the freedom he needed to make improvements where he felt they could be made. How could he sell agile to an organisation who don’t want to have the discussion?