WWWA = What’s Wrong With Agile
Welcome “Agile” admirers, haters and the lucky bunch who are still unaware hence unbiased readers. Glad to see a controversial article header gained your attention. It is not a click bait though and may be oddly unsettling to the admirers and haters specifically as you read on. It’s not good news unless we act on them and we need both parties to calm down for a moment, shake hands and stop bitching around.
Recently, I was accused of being an Idealist (no idea why it’s a bad thing) and living in a world of illusion. Pretty sure most Agile Coaches are branded as idealists if they are doing enough effort to highlight constant improvements. Apparently the myth called “Agile” only work in dreams. My reaction to this was rather cold though. Mostly because, there are times I do feel that myself. Not because it doesn’t work but because the perception of what Agile is, is still not clear to a majority of development professionals.
This article is the first of many on a series of articles which will be published every week (following a plan over responding to change.. Can I dare?). Here’s an effort to clarify what really is wrong with the interpretation of what Agile stands for today.
#1 – Agile is widespread the Agile Manifesto isn’t..
Leave the 12 principles aside for a moment, at random just ask for the 4 manifesto statements to a person selling the brand Agile on their product/services. If you can find confident 4 statements in any possible variation, ask how many of them they have managed to use or will be using in the workplace. If the person have taken the effort to memorise the 4 statements, they will probably be honest enough to tell you the truth.
Most of us cannot follow one or another or any of them in our workplace, for various reasons. That’s when we take a moment and question, is it even possible? We are busy doing “hard work”, who has the time for all these? Working the way we are expected to – pays, being an idealist continuous improvement seeker human – will probably get us fired.
My faith was restored when I saw it working once, only that one time – the company was being agile (a very good one) and had the manifesto and 12 principles bloody engraved in their memory and on the walls of the office. Also, they never used the A-word as a unspoken sacred rule.
Sad that the Agile Manifesto is not widespread like the actual term Agile. May be because it’s written in English which most of the world doesn’t speak/understand.. hang on. It’s impossible to memorise those 4 statements that holds the truth but it’s easier to memorise all answers of the multiple choice questionnaire to get the certification done. It increases our day rate, isn’t it?
Back to basics – a quick recap:
Here’s an unbiased pro-tip:
You can always be more agile, it’s relative.
Providing “fast feedback” depends on what is “fast” to you.
For some it’s a month or a week and for some it’s a day (stop showing off you!). There’s always will be a better version of ourself. Large organisation can be agile too, it just simply won’t be agile enough to call it that and to some it will be a #NoAgileBanter 😉
So, next time you hear someone throwing “Agile” at you and in a mood for trolling or simply like to be a dick, just ask. Just make sure you know it to begin with. Best place to ask is job interviews, if you care. The candidates have no choice but to answer or carry a risk of losing the opportunity. At least you will educate them and make an effort to spread the word directly.