Agile Principle 8 – Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted

Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted, the 8th principle of Agile.

Unfortunately this is so often not the case! I am sad to say I’ve observed multiple organisations with demotivated development teams whose ideas aren’t considered and where a culture of blame stifles any chance of creativity.

trustIf a company hires a developer, tester or analyst it is presumably because they have the right level of technical ability and experience for the required position. Therefore, it would seem logical that those individuals are empowered to succeed. Meaning they need to be given a reasonable level of responsibility and their views (as experts) trusted.

I’ve seen many Project Managers take a position of dictator when a more collaborative approach would be easier and also result in better outcomes. This is probably one reason why the project manager role in a traditional sense does not exist in true Agile. There remains a need to have someone who takes overall leadership for a project but the focus should shift into defending the development team and helping support their efforts.   This can be achieved by recognising training requirements, ensuring the developers equipment is powerful enough for the job or simply just backing their ideas.

Truly trusting all the individuals in your teams to constantly do the right thing is possibly a big step for some organisations. But recruiting and retaining motivated experts is key to consistent delivery in Agile projects and a major step towards this is a culture of trust.

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