Do you Rent or Own your Agile?

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last 5 years, you’re very aware of the current housing crisis and its effects on the global and many individual economies.  One common theme the marketplace is seeing now as a result is the rise in cost of rentals and the decrease in cost of ownership.

In my neighborhood alone, rental rates on rental homes are up an average of $350 from three years ago (nearly 20%) while housing prices are 30-65% lower and financing, while difficult to get, can be as much as 50% less to obtain and sustain than what it cost 4 years ago.  So it would seem the motivation to become a homeowner should be growing, yet a lot of people are not taking advantage of the opportunity. So why are more people not going after real estate ownership right now?

Reasons why people rent:

  1. Because they are uncertain about the future landscape of the economy and their own financial stability
  2. Because renting involves less commitment
  3. Because getting funds to purchase is more difficult right now
  4. Because ownership puts responsibility for the property on the owner

However, the biggest gains that will be made in real estate over the coming years will be achieved by people who get themselves in position for the next upturn while the cost of entry is low and everyone else is holding tight.  Right now your teams have the same opportunity with Agile.  Some of you are currently “renting” your Agile, and I suspect for the same reasons potential home owners are still renting.  As a community, we need to own our Agile, especially now while it is relatively inexpensive, before the economy turns around.

So how do you know if you are renting your Agile or if you own it?  You can usually tell by listening to the discussions you hear around Agile teams.  Owners have “bought in” and take ownership for the maintenance of their Agile.  Here are some examples:

  • Rent – There are no clear cut standards / solutions available to us to solve “X”
  • Own – What do we have to consider about our product to solve “X”
  • Rent – I wish someone would tell us which way we are going with “X”
  • Own – We need to get the immediate direction of “X” hammered out now…gather A, B, C…
  • Rent – I don’t think we should be doing that, but it’s not my call
  • Own – I have several points we need to consider before we move forward
  • Rent – I don’t understand why so-in-so has to do A, B, and C every sprint
  • Own – Can you spend some time with me and teach me why we approach new work in this manner
  • Rent – We can’t add any more work because so-in-so is over capacity or unavailable
  • Own – What can we do different to help you increase your availability to our team
  • Rent – Why do we always do what so-in-so says
  • Own – We need to do a better job of communicating with so-in-so
  • Rent – Why haven’t we gotten any faster at this
  • Own – What else do we need to do to improve our results

Recognize any of these in your organization?  I’m sure a lot of you are saying yes.  So, what are YOU going to do now?

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