I love sports and any chance I get to relate it to what I do for living, I get pretty jazzed!  So, hang with me on this… I hope this either reinforces what you already know about
agile development or gives you some encouragement if you are thinking about agile adoption.

In the good ole days where coaches could coach and parents were truly spectators, the “No Pain No Gain” mantra was used quite a bit to motivate individuals and teams to higher levels of achievement.  In its simplest form, it was a saying that got you up at 4am to get to practice, through rehab for an injury and back on the court/field, and through
grueling practices and conditioning which left you – well let’s just say – sick and puking.

As an athlete and coach, I came to realize this statement wasn’t just for sports.  I learned early on in life that pain could be a lot of things: loss of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, changes in an organization, your teenager going through a heartbreak, etc.  I’ve had my share of “pain” in my lifetime so far, and I’m sure there’s more to come.  But experiencing these setbacks builds my character and causes me to do some self evaluation, pick myself up, brush myself off and keep on moving.  That’s the gain part –
growing and learning from the experience to be able to handle the next thing
that comes my way.  Or as Randy Pausch talks about in his book, Last Lecture, “it’s the brick wall you must overcome.”

In the second part of this post (tune in after Tuesday, 2/21), I’ll tell you how moving to agile was no different in my experience… While agile adoption is not as extreme as some of the other life events, it’s still something that requires determination to keep on moving when there are setbacks.


Join the Discussion

    • Michael DePaoli

      Agile adoption for a member of a team, at a personal level, can be a source of fear, especially when folks can only see the change and don’t know how it can benefit them. Just as when a coach puts an athlete through training that the athlete may not understand how it helps them, but they must trust the coach that it does. Mutual trust is a foundational element to successful transformation.

      Agile adoption at the organizational level is considerably more complex because you’re changing a system which is dynamic by nature. This is definitely the challenge today in the the agile arena. This would be more aligned in the sports analogy to changing how an entire franchise plays their sport or if large enough, an entire country.

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