Marc Andreu

I have been a front end, backend and quality testing software engineer now I am following the path towards cybersecurity.

The fearless style

For those struggling to understand what is holding their teams to perform better.

This post is a quick philosophical exercise that helps us understand the fundamental impediment that blocks improvement in software development.

“I think it is important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy.”

Elon Musk

The Agile fluency model (AFM) is a “first principles” thinking philosophy about software development models. Then if we do the exercise to take fear as one of the first principles, we easily understand that AFM is an inverse representation of an organisational fearless approach to software development. From fully terrified poorly managed organisations with zero stars to completely bold and fearless startups that want to change the world.

A quick review of the fear star levels would be as follows:

With zero stars are the organisations that are afraid to allow the technical teams to be responsible for organising internal working processes. SDPs like waterfall or scrum are imposed by a central committee of bureaucrats. Those pure bureaucrats usually do not know what they are actually doing, how come they could allow technical teams to decide the best way to deliver value.

With one star are the organisations that are afraid to allow the technical teams to be responsible for managing all the necessary aspects to deliver value. A typical project manager holding the SDP evolution would say “Let the team play a little bit with such a thing called Agile and let’s see if they are happy enough.”

With two stars are the organisations that are afraid to make the necessary arrangement to align the organisational structure with the needs of the technical teams. Now a top executive would hold the process by saying “Ups, now I need to change those policies that have been in place for the last 20 odd years? NO, while I am here in my comfortable seat!”

With three stars are the organisations that are afraid to change its own culture when facing optimisation challenges. The CEO objects with “Oh, no, our core values are set on clay tablets.”

With four stars are those organisations with the lowest level of fear to operate safely and yet fast enough to be a top market player. There are no people in charge to stop technical teams to innovate. Evolution is constant but yet not chaotic. There is an antifragile culture, respect for processes and all other artefacts in place with just in the right amount to facilitate work oriented to deliver business value.

What are you afraid of?

Thanks for reading.

Posted by Marc Andreu Fernandez