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Wasn't this an Elvis Costello album?

"Trust". David Anderson calls it the heart of Agile Management and that which distinguishes it from other methodologies. I think he is stretching here on how innovative Agile is being in this regard. After all, trust and mistrust have been around for as long as I can recall. They figure into every human endeavor so it sounds implausible to me that we are just now incorporating trust into software project management. If so, then I expect that software project management is worse off than even I thought it was.

But he is right. It is essential. The real question is how do you build trust. I'm afraid this takes time. It takes working together. It takes the process of setting some commitments and delivering on them. David does a good job of listing several ways that trust is built. Try and do them to whatever extent you can.

The next question is what about measurement? Do individual measurement processes build trust? I'd say no. In most cultures they signal mistrust. This can make them difficult and perhaps counterproductive to implement. But I think there is a way around it.

Going a bit further I'd say that trust can be banked in a fund. That is once trust is built, you are in a position to stretch a little and implement things which signal mistrust but may actually be useful and good because you have ample trust to spend. There are some times when someone says "trust me" and you do and others when someone says the same thing and you run the other way. (Am I alone in finding it ironic that David works for a company about which many people mistrust completely?). If you have earned the trust of your team then you are in a better position to implement more detailed measurement methods. To be successful in implementing them I'd suggest putting them off until you have built that trust.



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