Agile from a psychologist’s perspective

Every person that had some connection with the IT sector knows about Agile. We all implement it in one way or another, but when something is as present as an Agile methodology, people tend to take it for granted. We now rarely ask ourselves about the effects of this methodology, since it became a norm.

I am not a developer or an engineer of any kind, but a psychologist that works as an HR manager. My perspective of agile processes is different as I focus on how it impact our thinking and behavior.

I cannot talk about whether all companies implement agile, but I can share with you my perspective of processes in the company Tacta. Here are five important effects that I observed:

Sense of achievement

Using test-driven development, makes each developer take full responsibility for the quality of the code. This approach switches one’s focus from solely finishing one’s part to making the code high-quality.

Still, from my perspective, the most important effect of being involved in an entire development cycle is that it gives developers a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

Feedback, feedback, feedback

Where would we be without feedback? The answer is probably stuck in our comfort zones. Doing different and new things is exciting, but it is often accompanied by a sense of insecurity, especially if we cannot see results right away. Each day we all encounter different kinds of mini choices and having someone to give us timely and specific feedback can be really helpful. Practices such as pair programming, daily meetings etc. are allowing exactly that.

Talking about challenges

In teams with more than one expert, there are a lot of different opinions. For me, transforming disagreement into a productive discussion is a special form of art and the key factors for achieving that are respecting your colleagues and being specific. In the end, joining forces to find a better solution instead of approaching the problem individually definitely makes it worthwhile.  One of the great benefits of Agile is that it offers a lot of practices that facilitate discussion.

Openness to change

Authentic change happens not when we try to follow all the plans and rules in a rigid way, but when we become active listeners. Every developer that wants to make excellent software must be sensitive to clients’ and customers’ needs and wishes. This approach requires a lot of flexibility and Agile is all about flexibility. One thing that we all could do from time to time is ask ourselves if we are still open to change and improvements or we started implementing Agile just as a formality.

Support and challenge

It can be quite difficult to achieve the balance of support and challenge in our lives. When it comes to development, support and challenge are equally important.

In Tacta, support comes in a shape of feedback and ability to openly discuss your ideas while challenges come in a shape of interesting projects and new technologies.

Sometimes challenges are greater than support and vice versa, but what is important is that we all tend to be direct and open in communication and we could create the best possible environment if we work together.

Author: Mirna Dajanović