Agile universities, certifications, agile consulting, traveling coaches, planning poker card sets, agile software products, agile modeling, agile arm bands, countless agile books and the crazed cycle of agile conferences.
The buzz cycle is in overdrive and it’s electrocuted the business world with the promise of faster, better and cheaper. This article is a plea to stop. Stop all the hype, the opportunistic profiting, and the marketing.
Good Intentions Turned Ugly
What started out as a challenge to the software development community to think outside the box ( invent, create ), abandon a one size fits all model to approaching software development and execute your projects in a pragmatic fashion that takes account of the context you’re working in….has turned into a marketing machine of horrible dimensions.
There was a time when people talked agile and you knew they were on the vanguard; trying to solve the real problems. They cared. They were passionate, deliberate, and informed. Now, when you hear a colleague professing agile…they’re most likely drinking the kool-aid poured by the snake-oil agile coach from Denver or San Fran. The formulaic response to the core problems is all too familiar and draining:
- Poor Requirements – You need user stories and iterations.
- Defects in Software – Continuous integration and TDD will solve that.
- Bad estimation – Use planning poker. It always works.
- Change Management – Break it up into iterations and embrace the changes given in iteration reviews.
I’m not knocking these techniques. Many are novel inventions that do have their place in SD/AD. But instead of being offered as potential options, patterns, techniques to solving a problem among many other potential solutions; they have become a sales pitch by the opportunist preying on desperate CIOs. Buyer beware. Bubbles pop and my gut says the needle to prick this balloon is getting very sharp and close.
Let’s stop agilizing everything. Good ideas, tools, and techniques don’t need the word ‘agile’ pre or post fixed to be worthwhile.
Come Back Home
So turn off the scrum-o-matic. Wipe the agile makeup from your face, and put the kanban sequin dress away. There are still problems to solve. We haven’t unraveled this thing called software development. It’s devilishly vexing and we need good minds focused on it. Become neo-software-amish, come back home to the forest of software trolls and invent/create again.