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Friday, July 14, 2017

Agile Development and Team Story

It is true that within Agile you have the notion of being free of a set method and allowing the team to decide. I have heard all the arguments. Some say the team will not decide. Some say it does not work. Some say it works under certain conditions. Some say it works but only if the organization is ready. Scrum, by being a formal methodology, automatically negates what is at the heart of the Agile Manifesto and the Agile Manifesto is regarded as a kind of 10 Commandments of Agile Development but the truth is something altogether different.

We did Agile development before it was called Agile development. My coining a phrase, you create an entity (real or not – you have heard of a Unicorn, no?) and by setting forth a method by which to accomplish the goals in mind such as Scrum does you in no way break any tenets.




Agile is not unique to software. Nor is lean, Kanban, or any of the new buzzwords. They are buzzwords. They make enough money and generate enough revenue that PMI is starting to incorporate Agile methods in their PMBOK.

A bunch of guys in a cabin in the woods is not necessary in this day and age and only serves to add to the mystique behind the Agile Manifesto. As far as I am concerned, people who write Manifestos in the woods are suspicious and up to something. Not all of them are planning on blowing something up. Some are just meeting so there will be no distractions. Yeah. Because it requires complete concentration to chase a Unicorn. You cannot do it head on, after all.

I hate to say it, and I will hear about it, but Scrumban and all the over-intellectualization of what amounts to getting work done as a team is a symptom of big brains without enough to do. Or, and equally as valid, are those big brains who see the ability to make money off of the latest fad. It is nothing new, but the buzzwords are. There was always a brownie with less calories. It was not called a Light Brownie until someone marketed towards people who wanted a less fattening brownie. And that is all it is. Less fattening.

I have wondered a bit about why this bothers me so much. In a world that does not seem to reward honesty, why would I insist on calling like I see it? Saying that I care sounds and even resonates a bit hollow because I really cannot care about you if I do not know you.

I guess it boils down to a disdain for bullies. People throw words like punches and get all bent out of shape and worked up because of something as idiotic as what “done” means. Have we forgotten that everything is in context and everything has eyes upon it, therefore perspective, and that there is no judge without an opinion?

Then there are those who think it really is important to define what done is aside from any actually physical project. I will tell you what it is: an idea. A Unicorn.

Get your work done. Inform yourself. Learn. Be wrong once in awhile. Be honest even if it hurts. Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and the like are all meant to take your attention away from what they entail and that is delivering software. I did not say good software. There is no such thing. There is software that does what it is supposed to for some people and not others and there is software that plan stinks because nobody likes it.

Do your best and keep learning and dont let the intellectuals bully you into thinking you need ScrumLeanBan in place. Muda… why do they use a Japanese word? Like the cabin, it makes things more mythical. It is what it is.


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