Agile Ain’t A Weekend Seminar

June 26, 2012

Agile. Don’t roll your eyes. Yeah yeah yeah you say, and I appreciate that – at least you’re being honest. Agile ain’t panning out. All of these good things were supposed to come out of it, but it all just seems like a disorganized mess. People are complaining, work isn’t getting done, and all the while you’re reading about how good it is. You don’t get it. I understand. You wouldn’t get it, would you? You’re doing it all wrong. You made the common mistake of thinking that somehow Agile was a relief from the rigors of Waterfall methodologies, and that you could be on a perpetual process vacation.

The reality is that Agile is orders of magnitude more difficult that Waterfall. Waterfall is so easy, it’s the same method you use to get your kids to do chores. You tell them what to do, and they do it within the allotted time or they get punished. Honestly, if your team is made up of children, you’d do well to stay away from Agile and get good at doing Waterfall. There’s no shame in that. Some teams have the professional maturity and expertise to do Agile successfully, but most teams do not. Take a hard, honest look at the type of team you’re working with, and choose your methodology appropriately.

If you do have a team capable of doing Agile, you better at least know what that means. Ask yourself, do you even have a clue what Agile means? What books have you read? Who’s been your Agile coach? How many years have you been doing it? How many projects have you taken to successful completion using Agile methodologies? If you’re lacking in your knowledge of Agile, don’t impose your lack of knowledge on others. If you do, you can end up doing more harm that good. If you want to learn Agile, be ready to put in the work, cause it’s a lot harder than picking up your clothes and making your bed.

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