The Narrative Project: Agile Development and Business Working Together

Daniel Pink said, “We are our stories.  We compress years of experience, thought, and emotion into a few compact narratives that we convey to others and tell to ourselves.”   Stories give us the ability to see from the perspectives of the people in our Agile community, and in turn, give us insight about the world so we can perhaps change it for the better. That is really what the Narrative Project is all about.

Agile Narrative Project

Now saying this I know that doing both is not at all easy. Collecting and analyzing enough data to give us a more global insight into the major and minor themes in our community is a huge task. The same can be said for how we change situations for the better for all of us.

At least the first part of the problem has been addressed with a number of methods created over the last several decades in the field of Sense-making.   I first learned about all of this when I sponsored a large Sense-making activity back at Intel Corporation with the help of Dave Snowden at Cognitive Edge a number of years back. Dave taught us how we can collect hundreds of stories and look for strong and weak patterns in the data.

If you have gone to the Narrative Project story collection page, then you are seeing at least the first part of that methodology—the collection of a story with metadata. The metadata is how we look for patterns across all of the stories submitted.  For example, you can see the following pattern emerging when we ask about sharing a situation around Agile and business working together:

Every red dot is a story of concern and every black dot is a story about hope.  As you can see we have a very strong signal of concern about the environment around Agile development working within a business.   Story headlines like “Waterfall in Agile clothing,” “Failure to deliver business value consistently,” “Why do I even try,” and other areas of concern are represented there.   Things that overall I really don’t like to hear about in our community, but as you can see the collection of the metadata along with the story solves the problem of finding patterns of where we need help.

So then how do we address the issue of creating change? Well, this is where you come in. I would like your help at Agile 2017. In the Business Agility Lab, we will be self-organizing into small teams to build knowledge around the exemplars in the stories we have collected, and we will be building experiments on how we may be able to amplify the positive themes and dampen negative ones across our Agile community.

The benefit of your participation will be exposure to a method you may be able to use to improve your own company. The benefit to the Agile community is that we may find ways to work the Agile mindset better into the fabric of our companies. I hope you join me at the event. Lastly, if you have not summited a story yet please take 10 minutes and do that today!

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They may not represent the opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

Add to Bookmarks Remove Bookmark
Add to Bookmarks Remove from Bookmarks
Add to Bookmarks Remove from Bookmarks
Ray Arell

Ray Arell

Ray Arell is the founder of nuAgility, as well as the facilitator of the Strategic Agility Lab and host of the Agile Coaching Network (ACN) Podcast. He is a collaborative and inclusive leader and coach who loves to inspire and motivate others to achieve their full potential. Ray has 30 years of experience building and leading outstanding multinational teams in Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, and startups. He’s also recognized as a leading expert in large-scale…

Recent Blog Posts

Recent Posts

Your Bookmarks

No favorites to display. You must have cookies enabled to add bookmarks.

Recent Agile Alliance Blog Posts

Access Beyond the Newsletter!
Ever wondered if you're fully tapping into the Agile Alliance's wealth of resources? Many in our community enjoy our updates but may not realize they're missing out on exclusive content, events, and benefits reserved for paid members.
Access Beyond the Newsletter!
Ever wondered if you're fully tapping into the Agile Alliance's wealth of resources? Many in our community enjoy our updates but may not realize they're missing out on exclusive content, events, and benefits reserved for paid members.

Post your comments or questions

Discover the many benefits of membership

Your membership enables Agile Alliance to offer a wealth of first-rate resources, present renowned international events, support global community groups, and more — all geared toward helping Agile practitioners reach their full potential and deliver innovative, Agile solutions.

Not yet a member? Sign up now

Member Dues are Increasing on March 1, 2024
Member Dues are Increasing March 1, 2024

Renew your Membership
or Sign-up Now and Save!

Effective March 1, 2024, select membership levels will see a slight increase in dues, a change from our temporary reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic to support our community. Read more about the changes here.