Personal Agility: Is the laundry done?
When speaking to people who find Agile, or more specifically, iterative development, a difficult concept to understand, I tend to use the analogy of human beings performing in an Agile fashion. Most of us live in 24-hour iterations in which we need to complete certain requirements; Sleep, eat, work, take the kids to school, etc. Most people can agree that we are completing most of these activities, and those of us who claim to eat and breathe agility like to brag about how we run our personal lives in that manner.
But now I have a confession to make. I thought I was living iteratively, and to a certain point, I am. I am one of those who doesn’t like to get up to do the chores, but once I am up, I do not stop until that chore is completed. I have noticed a large discrepancy in this notion, however, when I looked at my clothes dryer earlier this week. It is literally piled up with 2-3 loads of laundry neatly stacked on top. Oh my, my laundry did not achieve done-done status! I was not so much devastated at the fact that I am digging through a neatly piled heap of clothes when I get dressed each morning, but rather at the notion that I have been proud to think that I AM AGILE, but in fact, I have failed. So now, I find myself splitting requirements. A friend asked what I did last weekend, I started to say that I did laundry, but I felt that I could not take credit for work that is not done. Bummer. Back to the whiteboard.