Good == Agile

Agile ==Good

A developer came up to me and told me something strange was happening to him since he worked in an XP team: he’d started to call everything he liked “Agile”. When he saw something he didn’t like, his first reaction was “but that’s not Agile!

I reassured him that this was just a phase. Soon he would regain his ability to be creative with adjectives.

Isn’t that a good example of how Agile is like a sect that brainwashes its members? Or do we call everything that’s good “Agile” and win every possible argument?

Agile == Professional

Recently, I was asked to explain what “Agile Project Management” means. I said I had no idea. Do you have a good definition of Agile Project Management?

To me, there’s only good or bad project management. Similarly, there’s professional software development or amateurish hacking. You take your pick.

As Dave Nicolette observes,  “Methodologies don’t succeed or fail. People do. If you apply a methodology that doesn’t fit the problem, it won’t help you. If you apply an appropriate methodology for the problem, but you use it poorly, it won’t help you. Either way, the methodology deserves neither the credit for success nor the blame for failure.” A professional team will select the appropriate methodology for the domain and context, implement it professionally and inspect/adapt where necessary.

“Agilest” like Dave Nicolette, Jason Yip, Mike Cottmeyer and I are in violent agreement with Glen Alleman. We’re all on the side of professionalism. Glen thinks we use “Waterfall” as a straw man to show how Agile is better. In Glen’s world, waterfall doesn’t exist and is actually prohibited. Good!

Unfortunately, the waterfall (or the Lean equivalent batch mass-production) mentality is still alive and well in many companies Dave and I encounter. Unfortunately, many people prefer to muddle on (or fail) with the familiar methods.

Which side are you on?

So, let’s forget about the red herring of Waterfall vs Agile vs PMBoK vs CMMi vs PRINCE2 vs…

The real fight is professional vs unprofessional.

Which side are you on?

1 comment to Good == Agile

  • […] Whenever I work with a new team, I begin by asking them: ‘What does “Quality” mean to you?’ Using a Clustering exercise, we mine the information to get a collective answer. Their response tells me whether or not I’m working with real professionals. […]