The State of Agile 2012

Happy New Year to all my blog fans! Where are we at as we enter 2012? Here’s my take:

The Good

  • More and more organizations are taking an overall holistic look at project management and not merely following the latest new buzzword
  • Agile “mashups”, aka “Pragmatic Agile” and “Post Agilism”, and Hybrid Approaches are becoming more mainstream versus dogmatic one dimensional adoptions
  • More people are openly critical of various aspects of the Agile marketplace, from practices, to profiteering. In the past many people were too intimidated to question the sacred methodologies. The gloves are off, and have been for many months in the agile debates at this point, and frank criticism is replacing fawning gushing as the norm in the blogosphere
  • Scrum and XP, and to some extent Kanban have jumped the shark. XP is nearly nonexistant in the landscape, and Scrum adoption has nowhere to go but down at this point
  • Fracturing of Agile (see below) will lead to more independent thinking, and less “me too” parroting of simplistic methodologies; more emphasis being paid to fitting the project and methodology, versus a one size fits all approach 

The Bad

  • Most of the agile landscape is still sloganeering and profiteering; a few favored practices combined with the hard sell; new fads replace the old fads
  • Too much emphasis on estimating tasks to the millisecond
  • Too much emphasis on doing instead of thinking, innovating, and creating

The Ugly

  • Few if any unbiased, independent success stories, especially in relationship to Scrum, despite it being widely adopted and nearly 20 years old. Most if not all “success” stories quoted in “papers” stem from companies controlled by one of the Scrum founders. Lack of success equates to failure, especially when it fails to succeed, and organizations are noticing this readily
  • More and more companies enter the certification game: Why? Profiteering
  • Outlandish claims such as “Hyper-Productivity” have greatly eroded trust in not only the “thought leaders” that make them, but the industry as a whole
  • Scrum versus Kanban wars — how dare you impinge on our profits! Both sides attacking the others credibility and  profit motive. Agile versus Agile fighting will multiply as agile landscape fragments
  • Process over People — Scrum becoming new PHB  process just for the sake of process; least innovative companies most excited about this new way to manage by checklist (see Jumping the shark above) — Burndown Charts supplant TPS Reporting
  • Retrospectives all the rage; focus should be on getting management to listen, not holding retrospectives that do not result in action; many organizations dropping retrospectives since same issues brought up over and over.

And what about my predictions? Look for that in an upcoming post!


About postagilist

Architect, Manager, Developer, Musician, Post-Agile thought leader
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1 Response to The State of Agile 2012

  1. Pingback: New PM Articles for the Week of January 9 – 15 « The Practicing IT Project Manager

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