Agile Alliance election – candidate statement

I worked on my candidate statement for the agile alliance board elections today. Yesterday, at the agile seminar in Nieuwegein, Nynke Fokma, Marc Evers and Peter Schrier spontaneously self-organized into a playful campaign team (we’re not going to take this too seriously, mind you). During drinks they asked around what people expect from the agile alliance.

One of the concerns that came up, was with agile becoming mainstream, there will be a surge in ‘true believers’ who take a bunch of practices from a book (e.g. extreme programming explained or the scrum book) and take it as ‘the thing’ rather than as a gate to further understanding – turning off sceptics through their zeal.

If you want to read more about this, check out the xp mailinglist archives a few years back, or read about Shu Ha Ri on the c2 wiki or in Alistair Cockburn’s book on agile software development. I believe it is good to start out with practices, try them out a hundred percent and then reflect and make them your own.

By drawing in more beginners we, as a community, can support our industry in making a smooth transition towards more effective and enjoyable work. I interviewed a bunch of people recently for the agile2005 experience reports and yesterday at the agile seminar, and one thing that most of them had in common was how much difference they experienced in their working environment after starting with simple practices like stand-up meetings and iteration planning. An older engineering manager told me, that now he saw his engineers have so much fun he would almost consider going back into engineering. Now is a great time to be working in software development.

Ok, so here is my candidate statement, within acceptance tests provided by Diana Larsen : max 150 words, has to contain something about non-profit and community experience and what I would like to do for the agile alliance.

Hi, my name is Willem van den Ende. I’d like to help build agile alliance branding strength by fostering thriving local communities, international conferences, a website and other expressions that model our values.

I work as software development coach, currently based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. I enjoy growing communities, so I co-founded xpnl, xp day benelux, agile open, agile systems and Growing up in a tiny country that cultivated its golden age by accepting diversity when that was outlawed elsewhere, makes me realize how big this world is – we can prosper only by learning from each other.

As agile becomes mainstream, I believe we need to emphasize values over practices and individual methodologies. I see the agile alliance as rallying point for pragmatists seeking like minds advancing the “State of The Practice” in management and software development. We’ll be the change we wish to create.

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