Agile Quotes (from Twitter), First Set
Back when I was writing my Old Blogs, I saved Tweets that, at the time, struck me as interesting when they appeared. The list was originally published in pieces as the total became quite long. long. So I’ll be reposting these in pieces to avoid posting a single list of dozens of pages.
Some quotes are not from Twitter users, but quotes other Twitter users thought were interesting from authors, philosophers, etc. There’s even a few here of my own. In some cases, there are follow-ups combined with the original.
This first set goes up through the “C”s.
?? (can’t remember where I saw it) — “If you fence people in, they become sheep.” But another version, “If you put fences around people, you get sheep.”, is attributed to William L. McKnight, (1887–1978) Former 3M CEO.
@FunnyOneLiners — Everyone is gifted. But not everyone opens their present.
@FunnyOneLiners — A mighty oak is the result of a nut that held it’s ground.
@funnyoneliners — When asked “What would you bring with you to a deserted island”, how come no one ever replies, “A boat.”?
Abraham Maslow (via ASQ) — “Secrecy, censorship, dishonesty, & blocking of communication threatens all the basic needs.”
Abraham Williams — Sometimes I write a letter on paper with a pen then burn it laughing about how Google must be crying over information it will never index.
Ackoff (via Donald E. Gray) — … system behavior is not the sum of its parts, it’s the product of their interactions.
Alan Cooper — Art always contains craft, but not vice versa.
Alan Cooper — Lean is related to “efficiency” which seems to me an industrial age concept. Bob Marshall — Imo Lean is much more about *effectiveness* than efficiency, hence my #rightshifting campaign, not least.
Alan Shalloway — a process that tells you to fix your problems is different than a process that gives you information on how to fix it.
Alan Shalloway — biggest difference between adopting Lean now from adopting agile 10 yrs ago is customers r now more open-minded than th consultant community
Alan Shalloway — Doing meta thinking is good (see my book design patterns explained). “going meta” means doing meta thinking w/o validation ;)
Alan Shalloway — if your team is populated by heroes your process will require them.
Alan Shalloway — people are often confusing predictability with control. if you do, you won’t believe you can control your dev process. being in control is not a bad thing. being controlled by someone else is.
Alan Shalloway — practices followed as solutions are dangerous. Practices followed as examples of understood principles are a basis of learning.
Alan Shalloway — Scrum’s power lies in its collaboration, co-location & feedback. thinking it lies in its practices is what ossifies/limits it.
Alan Shalloway — Shalloway’s rule of explicit policies: You cannot accurately write down explicit policies cuz then they would not be what you really do. shalloway’s corollary of explicit policies: You cannot enforce explicit policies cuz that implies they are not what is being done.
Alan Shalloway — sometimes being heroic is just another way of avoiding prioritization. Scott Duncan — Or is a sign of not recognizing the need to prioritize?
Alan Shalloway — The Leader must be pulling the org thru the change process, not pushing it thru. When a leader is pushing, the org’s, people don’t know if they are being pushed toward something better or off a cliff- they do not have the concern if leaders are out in front and pulling.
Alan Shalloway — the more i work w/ lrg orgs (300+ devs) the more i believe that any approach that focuses solely on the team or is bottom up is doomed. top down does not mean top down control. but rather top down enabling of working on the right things in the right way.
Alan Shalloway — There is a big difference between eliminating waste & not creating it in the first place.
Alan Shalloway (from his time at IBM in the 70s) — “Wild ducks are good as long as they fly in formation.” Dave Nicolette — Wild ducks tend to fly in formation naturally because it’s efficient. Emergent behavior, etc. AND Still a good metaphor: No one /tells/ the wild ducks what the formation should look like.
Alan Shalloway (series of quotes) — Issue isn’t “when does agile work?”, rather “how agile can i be?” This implies a continuum. Going to iterations is a break. Scrum is evolutionary in perspective but revolutionary in implementation (making it hard). Kanban is revolutionary in perspective but evolutionary in implementation. Many (most?) people in Agile community think Agile==Scrum. So when Scrum won’t work they think Agile won’t. At conferences people say “we’re doing agile” when they mean they are learning scrum.
Albert Einstein (via Jason Yip) — The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution…
Albert Einstein — Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.
Albrecht & Zemke (via @ASQ) — People do not just buy things, they also buy expectations.
Alistair Cockburn — The center of agile development is to deliver running, tested features to users and collect feedback.
Alistair Cockburn — “Plans are great till they meet people”
Alistair Cockburn — Crystal = frequent delivery + close communication + reflective improvement => self-awareness; Ladder: techniques -> principles -> metaskills
Alistair Cockburn — We need shared understanding at this point, not shared common sense.
Alistair Cockburn (not from Twitter but mentioned on it) — Management tells the workers to mutiny. The workers refuse. (A koan for agile development)
Alistair Cockburn (reported by Biran Marick) — Remember talk from about “micro-techniques”. If I recall right, he said his observation of ppl like @kentbeck and @wardcunningham was that they gained great speed by doing many small things extremely well and quickly. Alistair Cockburn — Right & I could never develop that idea because micro-techniques come in xtremely context senstitive bushel-basket-loads not onezies
Alistair Cockburn: OH “a large dev team has a voracious appetite for requirements”. Food for thought.
Ally Gill — Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Andreas Boes at XP Days Germany 09 on “The New Industrialization” (via Alistair Cockburn) — “Industrialization” converted subjective process to objective process (remove individual’s capabilities). Taylor reduced ‘processes’ to invidual activities and actions. Taylor was a micro-methodologist (studied microtechniques). Alistair Cockburn — I think modern agile ppl are doing Taylorist work: study top performers, decompose, teach to others. That’s exactly what we’re doing! (I disagree with [Boes] — he says programmers are black box. but nano-TDD opens that box. I think agilists are whitewashing a secret Taylorist agenda, and it worries me.) what does he mean with “separate subjectivity from individuality”? I need a translation of Taylor’s 3 ground rules. Boes — agile brings in “living process”; which also lean brings in, too. diff : Taylor = optimize before announcing the process; Lean = optimize after deploying the process. Agile brings self-organization; Lean brings repeatable processes. Agile = collective learning & knowledge capture; this makes the “objectivity” and visibility needed. What does agile mean for the average worker? we haven’t thought through it (bad things to follow?) Alistair Cockburn — Boes/audience Taylor tried to diminish the human, sw tries to augment (I worry that parts-replaceable programmers goes the wrong way.
Andrew Clay Shafer — In a mechanical system, friction is the most common cause of lost work. Friction seems like a useful metaphor.
Andrew Meyer — The People, Process and Technology triangle, to me, is about balancing a path to successful execution of a project. Value is about determining if a project should be done.
Andrew Morgan — Be fearless with your day. Show up bold. Show up on purpose. Love every minute of life today. (Repeat daily until death)
Angelo Anolin — No matter how much bashing waterfall method gets, it has its share of successes prior to agile. Scott Duncan — Re: bashing waterfall & its “successes prior to agile” — ‘course agile really suggests it isn’t the method we should rely on.
anonymous (via Armond Mehrabian) — When there is in elephant in the room, introduce him.
Ari Tikka — Standardized work… in Finnish I like word “vakioitu”. Has the flavor of being constant instead of forced to standard.
Ash Maurya — Build [features] in response to a signal from the “customer”, and otherwise rest or improve.
August Turak — Maximum motivation emerges from the peer pressure of a team working toward a common mission.
Bas Vodde — I’m a positive person, but gradually losing hope that large companies can get rid of their self-destroying habits. Esther Derby — plus structures and policies reinforce current behavior, sometimes punish new behavior. Bas Vodde — Yes, and people reinforce each others behavior all the time. A nice system build to keep it in status quo.
Ben Rady — The first rule of productivity is accepting the fact that there are valuable things that you will just not have time for.
Ben Simo — If you learn from /waste/ and /rework/, is it really waste?
Ben Simo — SW doesn’t handle ambiguity like people but SW systems definitely can be complex. Plus, human users r part of those systems.
Benjamin Mitchell — A new team has set up a Kanban board with an explicit column for ‘blocked’. Amazing how quickly kanban boards provide useful information.
Benjamin Mitchell — Challenge of #kanban in s/w dev is to manage overlapping activities (analysis, dev) that may start work with partial information. Vasco Duarte — That’s the exact same challenge that all processes face. #kanban is no exception. In #waterfall that was just ignored. #agile Benjamin Mitchell — Good point. It’s also a difference when applying ‘Lean’ approaches to Prod Dev and Manufacturing. Goal of Prod Dev is to generate info. (which requires variation) to assist in making best future economic decisions so ‘rework’ can be ok. Goal of manufacturing is to produce within acceptable variation. Rework is generally waste. So depending on your view of s/w dev (manufact or prod dev) you’ll take a diff view of managing ‘rework’. My #kanban board surfaces this.
Beth Angelone @BethAngelone “You can’t make everyone happy. You are not pizza.”
Bill Graham — “It’s only work if there’s something else you’d rather be doing.”
Bob MacNeal — Maybe “self-direction” is one characteristic that distinguishes a team from a group. Scott Duncan — Collaboration would be another. Been in group’s that related well, but each did their own thing and were structured that way.
Bob MacNeal (actually from his blog, pointed to from a Tweet) — The Manager asks for the report, but The Leader gets his own damn report.
Bob MacNeal (more on being self-directing) — 1) Responsibility — given or takes responsibility for results and 2) Autonomy (free to determine, plan & schedule activities).
Bob Marshall — “If you hand over releases to a test team you’re not agile.” If you hand over releases to a production team, you’re still not very #agile.
Bob Marshall — Adopt the perspective that all sw development is a subset of product development and learn from PD folks like Reinertsen.
Bob Marshall — Agile successes — or not; echoes of Rashomon?
Bob Marshall — Coaching is NOT trying to mould others into the shape you believe best for them, it’s helping them mould themselves as THEY think best.
Bob Marshall — Common insight from Reinertsen, Goldratt, Seddon: Manage *queues*, not schedules, capacity, efficiency or costs.
Bob Marshall — Different isn’t always better, but better is always different.
Bob Marshall — How many abortive “new ways of doing” must we endure before we all realise that the challenge is “new ways of thinking, being”?
Bob Marshall — If a group has not yet called for structure, in order to defend themselves from themselves, they do not yet value themselves as a group.
Bob Marshall — Imo Red Bead is profound because it has many layers; vain hope; delusions (all round); (false) pride; introspection; etc. Don Reinertsen — Profound and possibly dangerous. It intentionally creates a situation where the player’s actions have no effect on outcome. Bob Marshall — Yes. But that’s kinda the point, really? From Deming’s perspective… Don Reinertsen — To some extent players are taught to accept variation rather than improving the process. (e.g. batch size reduction) Bob Marshall — Yes. But that’s reality for most orgs and most workers. Variants on Red Bead can explore more “enlightened” scenarios. Don Reinertsen — The game certainly proves the methods Deming dislikes won’t work. It also incorrectly shows SPC doesn’t help outcomes. I think it would be more profound if outcomes had both controllable and variable components. Teach the middle way… Bob Marshall — For me, Red Bead is very Zen, in that it’s point is left for the participants and audience to draw out themselves. I concur Red Bead fails to show benefits of SPC: In coaching, “ARC” reminds us Awareness -> Responsibility -> Commitment. I participated in an enlightening 15min workshop at Agile 2008 with teams and dice that could show SPC well (!RedBead). Karl Scotland — Red Beads useful to change thinking on purpose/demand/outcomes. Intentionally exaggerated scenario is powerful.
Bob Marshall — Is there any chance we can forego the “waterfall” epithet in favour of the more descriptive, objective, term “batch and queue”?
Bob Marshall — Limit work-in-process — not just development work but all work. Get Little’s Law working for you rather than against.
Bob Marshall — Locating Sw Dev in IT seems dumb to me (these days). But the wider point: who owns Product Dev?
Bob Marshall — On many occasions, even with carte blanche to build an amazing organisation, folks try to build yet another Analytic one.
Bob Marshall — The one and only question you need to ask agile teams: “What measures are you using to understand and improve performance?
Bob Marshall — When I say (or think) “I have an idea” what I mean is “please look at the world again, from this new perspective, folks”.
Bob Marshall @flowchainsensei ”We cannot change…until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed.” ~ Carl Rogers
Bob Martin — Any meaningful certification must be hard to acquire with a significant chance of failure. I wonder what the CSD failure rate will be…
Bob Martin — humans test creatively. Machines test reliably. Both are vital. Confusing the two is disaster.
Bob Martin — Once any word, like “agile” or “Object” or “Structured” becomes synonymous with “Good” it has lost all meaning.
Bob Martin — Scrum+XP+Lean+Kanban+CSM+DSDM+TDD+BDD+CSP+… = murky Agilebet soup. Maybe it’s time to rethink this.
Bob Martin — Second law of meetings: Meetings are for decisions. If you don’t know what’s to be decided, don’t go. If no decision is proposed, leave.
Bob Martin — to be a professional, you must not rush. keep your code clean. So clean it barely needs comments.
Bob Martin (on liking one-week iterations) — “not much can go wrong in a week”
Brad Burt — In the ‘Art of the Effect’ in magic, less is almost always MORE. It has to do with purity and thus the ease of a watchers acquisition of what has happened. Amazement is knowledge of a kind.
Brene Brown (book quote pointed to from Twitter) — Empathy is about connection; sympathy is about separation.
Brian Button — Is the most important skill in facilitating retrospective the ability to hear what isn’t being said?
Brian Foote (in response to Alan Shalloway — There is a big difference between eliminating waste & not creating it in the first place.) — Fasting vs. Sanitation
Brian Marick — Courage isn’t needed for those things once you’ve constructed an environment where making mistakes isn’t scary. So I’d put courage as a temporary value, a stepping stone.
Brian Marick — Greater ease requires first moving in the direction of less ease. Shame, that.
Brian Marick — I detect a certain tendency for craftsmanship to become narcissistic, about the individual’s heroic journey toward mastery.
Brian Marick — I think of arxta as a back to basics movement, where basics are pretty much XP attitude & the original scrappiness of Scrum.
Brian Marick — If you have one really great idea and express it together with many dumb ideas, the dumb ideas get a free ride in ppl’s minds. This is bad.
Brian Marick — Interesting to think about changes required by “Done means it’s in the user’s hands. Nothing less.”
Brian Marick — It’s swell to be compulsive about “delivering value” but let’s realize that “value” isn’t a real thing out there in the world. “Value” is not an objective fact. It is a prediction, made by some people, about reactions of other people, over some time. George Dinwiddie — I think “value” is a subjective fact. It, of course, begs the question of whose value takes precedence. Brian Marick in response to Mike Hill — different words have different favorite tricks. “Value”s favorite is making opinion look like measurement. Brian Foote — “value” shines at not sounding like a waste of money. “business” too. Whereas, anything with “re-” in front of it sounds like a wasteful do-over. Refactor, Revise, Repair, Reengineer. Mike Sutton — re-birth, re-new, re-’why can we compete with the latest blah?’ revisiting the old is a fact of life, we should embrace it.
Brian Marick — like to think of AR⊗TA as part of new wave: “economy of trust”, “smaller co’s w/ intense collaboration”, products instead of finance, etc.
Brian Marick — Much social thought today is about making sure no one gets something for nothing (welfare queens!) and bad ppl suffer (smokers: perish). (Esther Derby — Those seem almost like tribal values.) What gets lost is persuading/allowing ppl to give something for nothing (open source, social capital) so that ordinary people benefit. Being jealous of resources is human reproduction model (small # of children, huge investment in each). Alternative is our maple: huge # of seeds, waste cheerfully accepted. Maple doesn’t care that some seeds wasted on undeserving ground.
Brian Marick — People who think they’re on a hero’s journey tend to disregard the ordinary schmucks around them.
Brian Marick — The idea that working with other people is risky, that it requires lowering some sort of barrier or thinking differently (becoming humble).
Brian Marick — The original sin of Agile is that small nimble companies don’t pay consultants enough, so all the attention is to the lumbering dinosaurs. James Shore — Such truth in @marick’s tweet. Explains “Agile” plan tools, watering down of Agile, desire to “scale” mediocrity. Not only reason, natch. [Brian noted “original sin” term not right one. Other noted consultant focus wasn’t real point, it was “dinosaur” focus.]
Brian Marick — Thing about waterfall for programmers: you only have to acknowledge your gross lack of skill every few months. With Agile, it’s *every day*. Ron Jeffries — true but i can’t do much harm in a single day.
Brian Marick (at goosgaggle ) — design happens in writing the test — implementation is just stenography.
C. Northcote Parkinson — “Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” (Not from Twitter)
Carl Sagan (via Kevlin Henney) — Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carlton Matthews — overheard someone use this quote, “Don’t ask me to cook dinner if I can’t buy the groceries”
Carlton Matthews — when you are not living the life you dreamed you tend to envy the lives of others.
Charles Kingsley — We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
Chris McMahon — to improve performance, what is THE ONE THING we can do right now? Ron Jeffries — they already know the one thing. Everyone does.
Chris Sims — People think agile introduces uncertainty when it is actually just uncovering the uncertainty that has always been there.
Chris Sterling — scrum is a learning system; modify tools, practices, & process when your team learns something.
Classic #quote — A user is somebody who tells you what they want the day you give them what they asked for.
Courtney Benson — “People don’t fail because they make mistakes. People fail because they don’t learn from their mistakes.” Chuck Musciano