CultureSome months working in a utopia

Mario Nunes

Mario Nunes

4 minutes read

As time goes by, I have noticed that in the software engineering sector, the agile methodologies pitch has become a sales argument and progressed into a means of attracting and capturing talent for many companies. In this industry, I have had many kinds of experiences, from better to worse, always adorned with beautiful words about agile methodologies.

Usually, these companies use cool words to cover their malpractice while trying to justify their approach to the agile world and this I think is the genesis of the term “scrum-fall”. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, I have seen myself obliged to use it to explain my point of view. Much is said about such cases, but very little about the agility that does exist(one not adorned with pretty words nor trying to sell something that is not) and although it makes no boast, it is truly agile.

A few months ago I started working in Factorial HR, a company that does not identify itself as an agile one, but in my opinion, really belongs to the agile world.

The agile manifesto says:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

But I would also like to mention its twelve principles:

  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  10. Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential.
  11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

I can affirm that none of the above is out of place in this new professional adventure of mine. We do not use any framework associated with the agile culture, but we use a custom framework that works. Rather than try to follow the ultimate process, we implement one that helps us deliver value without focusing on the final process. We iterate the process of aiming for our objective, and ultimately the delivery of value, as this is our main objective.

It is also true that the organization can adjust to the agile manifesto because, in my experience, the structure and culture of the company are very close to the 12 laws of Codex.

  1. Team autonomy: Connectedness with purpose, not dependency
  2. Federalization: Integration into cells, not division into silos
  3. Leaderships: Self-organization, not management
  4. All-around success: Comprehensive fitness, not mono-maximization
  5. Transparency: Flow intelligence, not power obstruction
  6. Market orientation: Relative Targets, not a top-down prescription
  7. Conditional income: Participation, not incentives
  8. Presence of mind: Preparation, not planned economy
  9. Rhythm: Tact & groove, not fiscal-year orientation
  10. Mastery-based decision: Consequence, not bureaucracy
  11. Resource discipline: Expedience, not status-orientation
  12. Flow coordination: Value-creation dynamics, not static allocations

I titled this post “some months working in a utopia” because the path leading up to such an atmosphere hasn’t been rosy, and it is an honour to share that the above-mentioned reality does exist, and fortunately I did find it. Thank you for reading 😃

Mario Nunes
Engineering Manager

Mario Nunes is an Engineering Manager working on the Business Operations team. He likes music from Heavy Metal to Techno and hiking with his dog, losing themselves in the mountains.

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