Friday, June 24, 2011

Agile Project Management and Communities of Practice

Reading literature on communities of practice, I was able to synthesize my earlier reading of book Presence and find its relevance in my application with Agile teams that I currently manage. The concept in the book and in communities of practice, reminded me of a key component of success - Learning is fun only when you are in presence of a peer group that is determined to succeed and evolve, as much you wish to grow yourselves by doing it together.

Community over Self is how people claim that goodness prevails.Invoking the altruism in the statement sets a lofty goal that many want to miss in a goal-oriented,capitalist world. Community with self is a better promotion and hall mark for all great accomplishments. Coz in every accomplishment,  social good elevates the self and hence a greater good is accomplished. Take example of project teams. While every one accomplishments are bound to be exemplary, it is the collective deliveries that make the success sound sweet.

In Traditional empirical model of management, there are lesser known contributors and few go beyond call of duty. This is because of control-command structure that resides with manager planning and assigning tasks. Ownerships aren't collective. Finding a piece of work and judging its priority and executing it is a self-organizing team's strength. This is what communities of practice do. Since there is ownership in center of the team's existence and the getting together is voluntary, working together differs from a transient loosely assembled Just-In-Time project teams. Thus contributions come from every one and each of them enhance it to levels set by their peers in an automated fashion.

This is aptly captured in Declaration of Inter-dependence manifesto that is foundation of Agile Project Management.

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