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Future Shock

dshelley May 7, 2010

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Who remembers this book released in 1970, “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler? Really? I wasn’t even born yet! Even though I was a twinkle in my parents’ eyes, I can relate well with the main concept of this book. It is one’s perception of “too much change in too short a period of time.” Everyone can relate to change. Whether it is a job situation or at home. New child. Change of job. New boss. New project. The list could go on. Typically people relate change to a bad thing; however, change can be good!

I have worked on many projects and advocate for strong procedures and processes. I tend to be open to change and willing to make change when given the opportunity and the time is right. Well, at the end of last year I embarked on a new project and basically we have turned everything on its head. There isn’t anything we do like we always have when it comes to getting a development project completed. For this particular project we have moved to a completely Agile development shop. The beginning was a rough road, because of “too much change in too short a period of time.” However, a few months have passed, and we are developing into a finely oiled machine.

In March, our team completed Agile training, and, afterward, we dropped electronic tracking of our progress. I repeat…stopped using a computer to record new development. It was a hard thing to do since we write computer software; however, this has been a huge success. We have moved back to working with colored stickies, Crayola markers, Sticky Tac and tape. We write all our user stories on yellow stickies. Tasks are written on colored stickies, and all are placed on a large white board where they are managed. Who would have thought moving back to more of a manual process would be so successful. There are many more concepts behind Agile that have proven successful; you will have to stay tuned.

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