While I was on vacation in the southern part of Norway (Flekkefjord) I found a postcard with the “Viking Laws”. Not sure of the authenticity of these laws, but I still found them quite interesting. Surprisingly I also found them quite agile and a set of good rules to follow for any development team!
Here’s the laws and how I link them to software and agile thinking:
§1 Be Brave and Aggressive
- Be direct
- Hmmm… I think I’ll go for N/A for this one.
- Grab all opportunities
- And another N/A…(?)
- Use varying methods of attack (attack is interpreted as testing)
- Attack one target at a time
- Don’t do multitasking
- Don’t have single tests that cover multiple functional areas
- Don’t plan everything in detail
- Don’t do a big plan up front (waterfall)
- Use top quality weapons
- Use good software tools
- Use simple planning tools like whiteboard, story cards etc.
§2 Be Prepared
- Keep weapons in good conditions
- Keep in shape
- To be fit will let you be more effective at work and also have a lot of energy left when you get home, which in turn hopefully means you’re motivated and energized for work the day after
- Find good battle comrades
- A great team of people will do great things
- Agree on important points
- Common understanding/common code base
- Choose one chief
- Hmmm… Who’s the chief on an agile team? The team or the customer? I would go for the team together with the customer and not one single person.
§3 Be a Good Merchant
- Find out what the market needs
- Develop the most important functionality first and prioritize accordingly
- Don’t promise what you can’t keep
- Tell the customer the truth and keep them updated on time schedules and in the loop by utilizing review meetings etc.
- Don’t demand overpayment
- I’ll let the sales people cover this one :-)
- Arrange things so that you can return
§4 Keep the Camp in Order
- Keep things tidy and organized
- Keep code and architecture clean and easy to read and understand
- Arrange enjoyable activities which strengthen the group
- Have fun at work, use breaks for fun activities like fußball or other team games and have a beer on Friday night from time to time.
- Make sure everybody does useful work
- Have everybody involved and work as a team
- Consult all members of the group for advice