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Here’s some of my 2012 predictions, ok…. guesses:
1. Real Options will become a bigger part of planning software and application development projects. Unlike other projects we’re not discounting a straight stream of cash flows. We’re discounting a complicated tree of decisions.
2. Scrum Will Breakup – The forces that made it popular will rip it apart.
3. Agile’s Luster Becomes Rustier – The torrent of zealous marketing and hype will take its toll on agile. There will be increased backlash and doubt through 2012.
4. The Kanban Rock Will be Turned Over – Executives will look into Kanban for software development and ask “Where’s the value here?”
5. Managed Service Providers Will Enter Software Development – Utilizing contingent labor available through sites like Guru.com they’re finding ways to drive down the costs of software development for cheap, simple, fixed bid projects.
6. Agile 2.0 Bandwagon – The agile 2.0 proponents will attempt to reboot life into the “movement”.
7. Startups get faster, leaner – Driving towards continuous, high quality delivery…some startups will take Eric Ries Lean Startup philosophy further and push tool vendors, or even create their own tools.
8. Tools Start To Takeover – We may have stretched the limits of new practices and patterns. Time for the tools crowd to take over? NoSQL and the rejection of OOD&D as too complex for most development efforts may yield simpler higher quality tools.
I never can seem to round out my lists to 10. How do other writers do that? Oh well. See you in the new year. 🙂
Over commercialized, overused and mis-applied the word “agile” has become synonymous with being better, faster, and cheaper. The hype around the “A” word is nonsense. Most of the software vendors, consultants, and marketers plastering agile on everything are simply capitalizing on the popularity of some ideas that aren’t even correlated with what their selling.
Agility is not a panacea. It’s not a software tool. It’s not a product you can buy. To my opinion it was a state of mind, a way of approaching problem solving.
It’s now lost that meaning. It’s original luster is awash in a sea of hyperbole and advertising. When someone says they’re agile or they practice agility….I no longer know what they mean. It might be that they read a book, they use some self-professed agile software tools, they have a poker planning card set, they bought a CSM certification, or they recently attended some conference on agile software development. Stop Agilizing Everything was written in protest to the fluff, and monetization of agility.
Will it stop? I doubt it.
Instead it will kill itself through abuse. Eventually it will become the worn fad of the day. In disdain and disgust we’ll turn our backs on the “A” word and seek something with more substance.
Scrum, probably the most widely adopted agile software development practice, is cracking up. The signs are evident and this article discusses the trend and what it means for agilists today. If you practice scrum, are thinking of using it, or have used it in the past you’ll find interest in this article.
Oh yeah? Prove it!!!
It’s a truism that rapid growth and popularity put a strain on organizations, movements, ideas…….or ,more fundamentally, the people comprising these very human vehicles. As an idea ferments and then exponentially amplifies to encompass a wider politic of devotees and admirers there is the impending fog of dissent with the origin, the core. From this comes splintering, debate and eventually more novelty and innovation.
Fine, but what about direct evidence for the rift in scrum?
03/05/2009 – Scrum But…Test. Jeff Sutherland.
09/15/2009 – Ken Schwaber resigns from Scrum Alliance
06/15/2010 – Ken Schwaber establishes Scrum.org
04/20/2011 – The CSM certification wars
07/26/2011 – Forrester calls Water-Scrum-Fall the norm
08/02/2011 – Bloggers Suggesting Scrum Variations
As the agile movement hybridizes and evolves scrum is feeling the brunt of this pain. The forces of hybridization are ripping scrum into distinct camps whose views are aligned with their respective organizational needs. Who are these camps and what will ultimately happen to scrum as this spider web is tugged from it’s anchors?
The Enterprise – Most enterprises don’t build software as a core part of their operations. Projects here are usually centered on delivering some base set of functionality for a fairly fixed price. Stability and low cost of operation are prized. The organization doesn’t usually see this as an investment…but as an expense to be managed and tracked. The pressures enterprise software development groups face at the capital planning phase and the release phase have sculpted the Water-Scrum-Fall that’s prevalent.
The Software Companies – In contrast to the enterprise, software companies build software as their core product. It *IS* their operation. Software companies see their products as an investment and it’s life cycle is fairly unlimited, or at least tied to the life-cycle of the company. Pure scrum works in these companies fairly well. There’s usually still pressure to reduce the number of production releases but on the planning side managing features in a backlog fashion is workable, even preferable when you have a product that has a potentially unlimited lifespan.
The Startups – Startups face a different set of pressures from their venture capital investors. The need to rapidly introduce new features and create value to customers and investors by gaining a competitive advantage quickly is paramount. Startups are tearing scrum towards the Lean Startup methodology professed by Eric Ries. The focus here is continuous delivery of new software: stability be damned. Usually these startups don’t build software that’s mission critical or life threatening.
The Purist Methodologists – Among these are the various scrum trainers, agile coaches and general agile philosophers who profess a puritanical approach to scrum. Their insistence on a dogmatic approach to scrum are rooted less in practice and more in theory.
What are they doing to scrum…where are they taking it?
These groups are doing what’s natural. They’re catering scrum to their practice and profession of application life-cycle management ( ALM ). But this tug of war for scrum’s future is changing it. Instead of a simple, one-size fits all methodology, it’s becoming a framework of patterns & practices.
You can see this through the introduction of scrum extensions, which is a natural way of recognizing the various groups that have adopted scrum in some fashion. With scrum becoming an umbrella concept, it’s importance is melting away. It will devolve and eventually disappear. Instead the extensions, much like design patterns in software development, become the value added pieces that development teams will use and rally around. Each camp will likely pool certain extensions, patterns as their ‘methodology’. In time, these flavors of scrum will tear it completely apart.
Scrum’s popularity will likely be its undoing. But is this something to be avoided or stopped? Hardly. Hybridization and evolution of scrum is a natural process that is both pragmatic and necessary. Jeff and Ken’s baby is growing up and leaving the agile house. The original agile manifesto signatories accomplished their mission; they broke the one size fits all ALM world down. The new heterogeneous landscape of practices and patterns, while less clean than the bi-polar world of agile vs waterfall, is primed with greater opportunity for innovation.
Latest news item on InfoQ: http://www.infoq.com//news/2011/12/water-scrum-fall-is-the-norm