Discover more from Robert Roskam's Newsletter
Why Agile is Dead
We killed it on purpose
I’m sick and tired of people saying, “We do Agile development.”
Most companies really don’t. What they do is some variant of Scrum with a some parts of their business screaming at them for projections of where they’ll be at the end of the quarter, and so they live in two worlds: the dev team does Scrum, and the rest of the business does waterfall based on the projections of the Scrum team.
The State of the Universe
That world I put forth. Doesn’t really sound much like Agile’s principles. It doesn’t sound like:
Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
But—you say—it’s fine because the dev team is running an Agile process with Scrum, right?
Those who advocate adhering to Scrum often forget one of the primary declarations of the Agile Manifesto:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Scrum implements a flavor of iterative development and agility, complete with its own strange phrases (e.g. “sprints” and “retrospectives” and “story points”). However, when a people start to hammer on others for not following a particular process, instead of talking about the outcomes they’re looking for, then the process has stopped being Agile.
How is that dead?
Very few people actually talk about Agile’s outcomes and core principles any more. You won’t get in trouble for failing to:
Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
But you will very likely get someone upset at you for
failing to formulate a user story in the sacred pattern of “As a user..”
skipping a retrospective
having daily stand ups that are too short
having daily stand ups that are too long
forgetting to structure your JIRA workflow correctly
So yeah, it’s dead because we value the process and following the rules over creating valuable software.
And it’s not just me that thinks so: