Agile is so cool isn’t it? And our team is so much more productive since we’ve switched to Scrum — in fact we’ve decided to reorganize our entire lives around lean/kanban culture
It seems like you can’t browse anywhere without tripping over the gushing praise of various flavors of agile. And the proponents seem so sincere and convinced!
However, with rare exception, these are actually, essentially shills, in a practice known as astroturfing.
Astroturfing is a form of advocacy in support of a political, organizational, or corporate agenda, designed to give the appearance of a “grassroots” movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. The term is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.
What if you found out that all those rave reviews of some car were all made by salesmen or car dealerships?
Click on the names of the posters on these blogs, and see what you find. With rare exception, they will be Certified Scrum Masters. Check out their twitter feed to find out their 30% Discount on Training!
Yes, they are all out their, drumming up business. Some estimate there are up to 150k CSMs out there, all trying to make a buck.
Even more unnerving, the various Scrum “credentialing” organizations, encourage this behavior. To get to the higher money making levels, like CST, which can allow people to earn literally millions of dollars a year doing 2 day training workshops, they want you the aspirants to amongst other things, prove that they have spread the word in a grass roots way — eg, astroturfing.
What about magazines, tradeshows, infoq, and the like? What about all the positive comments there?
Same story — most of the “articles” they run are by people who have a vested interest in selling this stuff. They want to sell ads to agile tool vendors, etc, and they want to sell conference seats to anyone they can sell a seat to. They don’t care if the product is effective or not, as long as people are interested in it, and with the shills they generate interest.
Do your own research — try to find any real evidence of success with these methods. With 150k CSMs you’d think it would be easy, but there are countless stories of failure and very few of any success.
But that sure doesn’t stop the marketing! Next time you see some gushing praise just click the link — to find out it’s a salesman.
The people who aren’t salesman in it don’t have much praise to gush about — and that should be a wake up call.