About People, Tools and Processes

Experienced, smart individuals who work together effectively will always perform better than junior untalented people thrown together at random. The experienced effective group will build its own tools and create its own processes. The random junior group will be unable to effectively utilize tools given to them, nor will they be able to effectively follow a process.

When a team needs improvement, don’t impose a process or throw tools at them. Instead, concentrate on improving the team and the individuals within it. Technical, personal and team training and coaching will always be time and money well-spent. Spending money on processes and tools before an excellent team is in place can be very risky and wasteful.

Individualism and competition have no place in an agile work environment. Instead, the agile environment supports and fosters teamwork, collaboration and consultation. In turn, teamwork, collaboration and consultation depend on trust and truthfulness.  “Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.”

Nevertheless, processes and tools still have some importance. Great people with a great flexible process and great flexible tools will be hyper-productive. A junior group may need training on tools that will help them be more productive. Just be sure to never let processes and tools get in the way of the team.

In many ways, improving people is a sufficient practice for agile work. All the other principles, disciplines and practices would eventually arise out of this one practice. However, the depth of individual and group improvement needed for this practice to stand on its own is very great. Therefore we make the other principles, disciplines and practices explicit.


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