Agile vs Fragile: Change … Bring It On!

Part 4 in a series of 17. To start at the beginning, first read Agile vs Fragile: A Disciplined Approach or an Excuse for Chaos.

The second Agile principle focuses on being agile (little “a” in this case).  The primary concept is that change is seen as a positive way to ensure that what you deliver to the customer has the best chance of being correct. Principle two embraces changes, because it would rather make adjustments to timelines and delivery now rather than continue down the wrong path and have to retrace steps.  True agile teams see change as a mechanism for driving toward success.  Fragile teams see changes as a way to cover up mistakes and poor planning.Agile Change Bring it OnThe challenge with Fragile teams is that change is used as a cover for poor planning.  Project teams move forward without direction and frequently have to make corrections as problems are discovered.  In a Fragile world, the majority of the change is driven by IT and not the business.  The business is largely left out of the loop while development “works through” the design and solution.  Changes are not put into backlog, but added to the sprint with little or no understanding of what is given up to address the change.  The best way to put it is that in a true Agile team, change is managed, and in a Fragile team change happens.

In the next installment of the blog we will talk about the 3rd Agile principle. In the meantime…Keep on testing!

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Brian Copeland

About Brian Copeland (19 articles)

With over 25 years of senior level experience in the software development industry specializing in organizational transformation and development, Brian has been instrumental in the testing of critical business systems, from mission critical applications to commercial software. Mr. Copeland’s career has included 10 years as the Test Operations Manager for the Titan II, 34D, IVA, and IVB programs, managing both flight and ground software-testing facilities for Lockheed Martin. Mr. Copeland also served as the Sr. Manager of Quality Assurance for the shared services of Deloitte & Touché, LLP. His diverse experiences range across the aerospace, medical device, title insurance, legal services software, big four accounting firm, and banking industries. Brian led the global testing organization for The Nielsen Company, overseeing the successful transformation of the testing function made up of over 750 testing associates. Mr. Copeland has been a key-note speaker at the International Business Forum, and has been a featured speaker at HP Software Universe. Brian is a past president of the greater Cincinnati International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA), and holds an ITIL v3.0 Foundations and RCV certifications.