I got my Agile Merit Badge! Now What?

For years now, I’ve been saying there is no such thing as an agile merit badge.  My point was very simple.  I wanted people to realize that the goal of what we are doing here is not to “Be Agile” or to “Do Agile”.  Our goal

was, and remains, to create great software.  So what I wanted to get across to folks is that there is no special prize for doing all of the items in the Scrum Guide exactly as written, or in doing every practice of XP exactly as written.  Those are means to an end, and should never be taken as the end in itself.

This September, I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with George Dinwiddie who has been a leader in the Agile community for some time now, and has a lot of really good ideas(http://blog.gdinwiddie.com) especially about coaching.  I noticed that he had on his lapel an Agile Merit Badge.  I was so impressed I told him I just had to have one, and he very kindly put one in the mail for me.  So now I have my Agile Merit Badge…..but what do I do with it?

I think I will keep it with me as a reminder.  A reminder that we in the Agile Software community spend a lot of time arguing over what is “more agile” or “less agile”.  More importantly, I’ll let it serve as a reminder that what is important is to not sweat whether I start counting my sprints at 0 or 1.  What is important is that we are focusing on how best to keep our team successful.  It can be my visual cue that, no matter how many certifications or badges or fancy titles we rack up in our careers, they are nothing compared to the accomplishments inherent in working with a successful, motivated team on software that matters.


About Steve Ropa

Steve Ropa has more than 25 years of experience in software development and 15 years of experience working with agile methods. Steve is passionate about bridging the gap between the business and technology and nurturing the change in the nature of development. As an agile coach and VersionOne product trainer, Steve has supported clients across multiple industry verticals including: telecommunications, network security, entertainment and education. A frequent presenter at agile events, he is also a member of Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance. In his personal time, Steve plays principal trombone in a regional orchestra and is an avid woodworker.
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