Do agile teams have wider awareness fields? (#agileTD 2011)

In this talk, Rob Lambert (@Rob_Lambert) presented different ways to increase your awareness and tries to give an answer to the headlining question.

First he mentioned, that you should increase your awareness by connecting to different kind of people, like e.g. the helpdesk/ support of your organization, or to the sales department. This helps to avoid a kind of unified group thinking.

Then he pointed out that there are different kind of awareness: social awareness and personal awareness.
A wider awareness gives you more choice instead of accepting paths, which then potentially leads to a better solution. He emphasized that there is always more to learn!
Basic for this is, that you know yourself, and that you know about your limits.
To find out what you’re capable of, you should use tools: E.g. lists, flow charts, learning roadmaps, and mind maps. This also helps to find out, what your not capable of (yet).

Isn’t „agile“ about raising awareness? By questioning what you know and what to change? By questioning if your building the right thing and always asking how to improve?

On the other hand, having lots of choices is not always a good thing. He calls this the „paradox of choice“, where having more choices leads to more unhappiness.

Another way of widening your awareness are social tools:

  • twitter: which you e.g. can use to search/ filter for certain hashtags
  • softwaretestingclub.com: To discuss with other testers
  • reading lists, e.g. „read it later“
  • delicious: To share your bookmarks with the community

Rob’s final statement was, that agile gives you the environment for all this, and that agile gives you the chance to be a first-class-tester.

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