Agilism – Tenets of Agile on path of documentation

Agilism can be described as a concept, a doctrine, it is a philosophy, based on tenets of Agile manifesto and Agile principles, as applied to Software Product Development. It is interesting to share that Agile principles when applied to any product development process, enhance the rate of product delivery in general, with simple, working prototypes produced early in the project life cycle. Early prototypes ensure customer satisfaction and encourage them to actively participate in shaping the product according to need and required functionality. It provides with opportunity to give directions, make changes according to need and ultimately, help the team to develop a product with value and maximum Return on Investment (ROI). Customer feedback helps the team to iterate, re-iterate the product in a continuous manner and help in fast, simple, and better product delivery. Cross-functional and self-organising teams work best in this environment.

To create such an environment and mindset, self-motivated individuals, who really want to make difference in smoother, faster product delivery and contribute in agile transformation, should take the task of learning Agile methodologies.

Shu– Learn and then perform actions to become the showstoppers and role models for others to follow.

Ha-They can innovate new styles of product deliveries, improvise, and apply Agile rules.

Ri– Finally transcend with their unique style to a different level and establish their own niche.

Walk through Shu Ha Ri model, of learning, following and gaining mastery, in Agile!

As an Agile document developer, I can state that, effective agile documentation is a balancing act, the goal is to write just enough documentation, just in time and just for right audience. Application of Agile, to product documentation in general, while working on an Agile project enabled me, to align my documentation, with the developing software product. I worked with an Agile team, with agile product delivery, after each iteration. To catch-up with such a team and document the features of working product, it was necessary to know their working styles. It was when, I began learning from the basics. Enrolled myself in Agile awareness and training program in organisation and started Agile journey. Application of Shu Ha Ri model – the Japanese Martial art concept of training and learning, which describes stages of learning from beginner to mastery, helped, in learning Agile principles and gaining the skills, required to create, agile documentation. Agility is part of daily routine now. I find myself somewhere between Shu – Ha stages where I have learned the principles of agility, and strictly and honestly follow them in my style of agile documentation, with spikes, taken care of, as and when required. This enables to gain customer confidence and produce faster, simpler, and better documentation with maximum ROI value!

This is a step taken to encourage the technical communications community, practitioners, as well as the young aspirants, to learn and apply the Agile methodologies to their style of Technical Communication and Writing during project and product documentation. Learn the need of continuous iteration through feedback and fast document delivery, according to customer requirements. Produce incremental, quality documents, with minimum or no defects, with just enough minimum writing, as required, and also the precise documents, which are light, simple, and easy to refactor. Writers should know the nuances of writing in Agile, its advantage and they would like to innovate on their own, improvise, and apply agility to their styles of writing. Learn to be on edge all the time, catch-up fast, know the advantages of learning new tools and technologies, mould themselves along with, emerging technologies, and adjust to the changing requirements frequently. Pick up new writing techniques and methodologies, innovate and leverage them to enjoy maximum writing benefit. With a hope to enhance the quest for learning Agile methodologies, creating a mindset for faster and simpler documentation urge the aspiring technical writers to take a plunge in lake of agility, hone the skill and gradually apply it to their document deliveries, while adding a dash of technology and creativity. Increase expertise, share knowledge and become the trailblazers……..


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