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Six Ways To Be An Agile Adolescent

Do you get along with everybody? Are you universally loved in your office?

Then you are a failure.

There are those that are born great and those that are told they are great guys. Especially working in an Agile environment, the requirements stakeholder has to be… well…

A screaming, pouting adolescent.

They don’t call it a scrum for nothing: It’s a battle. If you’re not arguing, not giving voice to every seemingly petty impulse, you’re not doing your job. But don’t worry, I can help you tap into your inner child. Start with these techniques:

1. The Eye Roll: This classic we all mastered as teenagers– stop a line of BS before it starts (you should know it when you see it, you’re the adolescent, after all).

2. Belch if You’re Bored: You should never be bored in a scrum. If you’re bored you’re not on task. If you’re in a meeting [which should be a warning sign in and of itself] try a combo: belch, then eye roll, then moan “What are we doing here?” Sartre would approve.

3. The Pedantic Reductionist Humiliation (PRH): When you need to prove a point, paint the picture out in irreducible terms and make other people say it back to you, ESPECIALLY if they don’t want to. Chase people down and pin them; the rhetorical equivalent of “quit hitting yourself”.

4. Appropriation of the Winning Argument: This is a great technique. If you find yourself wrong, just switch sides immediately and congratulate yourself.

5. The Schizoid Handshake: When things get really heated, wax philosophic and say “I really appreciate the interaction here. This intellectual energy is critical to creating a good product.” Feelings don’t get hurt as easily if everybody thinks they’re part of an exclusive group, like hanging with Dorothy Parker at the Gonk**.

6. Forget Everything by Monday: Remember everything that happened in the trailing 48 hours then forget about it (this includes grudges) unless it is a plotter printout posted on a wall in your immediate work area.

The only nice thing about the business of being a child is that, while perhaps unpleasant, your role is critical.

Without you, things stop moving.

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