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Prerequisites

WARNING
- FAST Agile is not for everyone and there are physical environmental constraints. First and foremost you have to be really, really serious about producing software. Specifically, there are anti-patterns to software development that you must be prepared to let go of if you want to try FAST. In an interview with Craig Larman, one of the founders of LeSS, summed up perfectly some of these "When people ask me how do you do agile with large, agile with multi-site, agile with with offshore, my normal advice is - DON'T, DON'T, DON'T." FAST Agile takes this one step further than LeSS in just advising not to do these things. FAST Agile will only work if you don't do it!

The FAST Agile methodology was designed to not allow for many of the agile anti-patterns that seem to be common among most implementations of other agile frameworks. The following constraints and prerequisites are the first steps to ensure this.

1 - Have a mindset congruent with FAST values and principles

  • Believe in the power of self-organization and Open Space Technology
  • Trust that your developers are skilled, caring and will do the right thing

2 - Stop Doing What Doesn't Work

  • Stop viewing and treating developers as fungible assets
  • Stop using short term contract developers (although contract to hire is a good idea)
  • Stop distributing team members
  • Stop having team members working from home
  • Stop micromanaging

3 - Show some caution and willingness to experiment

  • Don't start FAST on a project with a critical deadline that you are near. Wait till you are at the next release point
  • Join the FAST Community and read about what experiments others have tried to gain insight on any experiments you are thinking of starting
  • Get approval from management to try something new
  • Get a FAST consultant to help you out if you are nervous. (Go to Contact Us and someone will get back to you with a recommended consulting firm/agent.) 

4 - Meet the FAST facilities and personnel requirements

  • Co-locate the entire dev team that are on the product. Reason : We want high communication and to catch problems early.
  • Seed your FAST tribe with a small core team of *Code Craftsmen or XP Developers (up to 20 devs). Reason : Your aim is to scale quality so you have to start with that.
  • Have dedicated office space that will support a large meeting every two days of all the devs (the tribe) and have smaller development rooms/areas that will hold (5-20 devs). See facilities. Reason : We want high communication and a shared vision
  • Your values and principles are in alignment with the FAST Values and Principles. Reason : You have to mean it to make it work (I know I have repeated this from step 1. That is on purpose, because it's really important.)

*I have heard concerns about the cost of Code Craftsmen. Have no fear. Read the section on Code Craftsmanship where I also cover FAST recruitment and training strategy to have have these fears assuaged.

Now find out about the Roles.