Agile is not Standups

Gonzalo Fernandez
2 min readOct 3, 2015

Last Thursday I went to a Microservices’ users group meeting. Wonderful venue and reception. And very interesting talks.

However, as in many of these events, the better part was meeting people. And the good part about being too self-conscious and shy for proper speaking is that you listen a lot.

And you hear guy A explaining to guy B how he’s working in developing a new feature for a startup and it’s going to take 4 months of a bunch of people, with no feedback involved until the big bang deployment. And you hear all the buzzwords like agile, standups, epics, story points… Guy B asks some details because he has a management position and the answers he gets from his tech team are always delays and disappointing end results.

We’re building cathedrals.

We use the agile paradigm to do the same thing all over again.

But Agile is embracing change, it’s collaboration inside the team and with the customers, it’s working software.

I’ve seen it many, many, MANY times, and it still amazes me.

We don’t need more technical people acting as product managers or business analysts. We need users to work with us, to see our product not once in a blue moon but on a timely fashion. Because we need input from him/her. Not only asking questions but showing what we have achieved.

We don’t need a backlog from where we developers pick the task that most interest us. We need a common goal. Common for the business, for the users, for the developers.

We don’t need daily scrums so that we developers get a bit ashamed if we don’t do anything during the day. We need daily standups to communicate, to share what we’re doing, to point the problems we are facing so that they can be removed.

We don’t need story points as a poor substitute of duration. We need story points to agree business, development and users what we should build next.

Agile is not standups.