Spelling It Out

Photo by Steven Lock

Photo by Steven Lock

I've heard enough about The Checklist Manifesto to understand the benefits of checklists, but sometimes we go too far in prescribing how to run an agile project.  

There are some people who want you to give them the answers, but the truth is they need coaching instead.  I never had an Agile Coach to help me, and as my coworker Ty pointed out to me last week, most people don't read nearly as much as I do.  I read books and blogs, and I attended user group meetings.  I learned as much as I could and practiced what I was learning in the workplace.  I experimented and adapted.  

In her review of The Checklist Manifesto, Robin Marantz Henig writes,

What a powerful insight this is: In an age of unremitting technological complexity, where the most basic steps are too easy to overlook and where overlooking even one step can have irremediable consequences, something as primitive as writing down a to-do list to “get the stupid stuff right” can make a profound difference.

So what checklists might be beneficial for agile projects?  From time to time, I referred to the Scrum Master's checklist to help me identify where I needed to focus my attention next.  My coworker Rick sees value in checklists that express outcomes.  Find out from your teams what steps they're forgetting to take regularly--they might need a checklist to remind them.  And provide coaching for the rest.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.