The first part of the Agile Manifesto states: “We are uncovering better ways of developing
software by doing it and helping others do it.”
Is the Agile Community still interested in innovating new, better ways of developing software, or just debating whether Scrum or Kanban is the best and most universally applicable?
It seems to me the community has veered in many ways from the original goals.
When I read the agile manifesto “We” means everyone. It doesn’t mean the select few original signatories.
And “uncovering” implies a current as well as future uncovering of new methodologies.
However what we have today, is a situation where nearly everyone has decided that either Lean/Kanban, or Scrum, is the end-all-be-all and which one should they get certified in?
This current morphing of the agile manifesto as translated into the real world might be:
“They uncovered better ways of developing consumer electronics (Scrum) and managing inventory (Kanban/Lean), and therefore we are slavishly adhering to these conventions for developing software”
This makes no sense to me. Scrum was born from designing consumer electronics, Lean/Kanban was born from managing parts inventory in a factory, NEITHER of which has anything to do with software development.
We’ve gone from a promise of continual innovation related to SOFTWARE development (The original agile manifesto) — and now what we have is a complacency that one of the aforementioned methodologies is all that is necessary, and it’s just time to be conventional but still call it agile. The only choice is whether to be conventional and complacent with Scrum, or conventional and complacent with Lean/Kanban.
Keep in mind that
1) Scrum and Kanban are based on 30 year old concepts from Japanese business
2) The Japanese economy has been paralyzed for nearly 20 years (the so called “lost decade” now spanning 2+ decades).
Software development has little to nothing to learn from manufacturing.
People interested in Manufacturing (Lean/Kanban/Scrum) would be better suited studying whatever techniques the new manufacturing leaders (China, Korea) are using. The number of Samsung and Vizio TV’s, as well as chinese computers, etc, greatly exceeds the Japanese output. Talking about Japan these days is like talking about the Beatles, but they do it every day at Lean/Agile conferences.
If all these Japanese management principles (Scrum/Lean/Kanban) are so great, why is it exactly that the Japanese are getting trounced in the marketplace? Yes, they still make cars, but they are all but dead in the consumer electronics space, which is where Scrum originated. Lean/Kanban? Sure it’s a successful way to manage INVENTORY, but managing INVENTORY has nothing to do with software development.
People interested in Software should keep innovating, in techniques related to Software development and innovation, not irrelevant disciplines like manufacturing.
Am I the only one seeing this, or am I just the only one not trying to cash in on convention?
It seems like where we are at with Agile is where we are at with Rock Music. Rock used to be innovative, progressive, leading edge.
Now it is mostly corporate complacent pablum.
Of course it took 50-60 years for Rock to become complacent, but less than 10 for the agile community. What happened?
Please feel free to share your thoughts on what we should do at this juncture.