Hating on Agile goes Mainstream

It had to happen sooner or later — as much as the Agilistas want to paint a picture of fuzzie bunnies, and shiny happy developers, now that more companies have considerable experience with agile and scrum, they are more than anxious to rid themselves of it.

What’s even better, more people are coming out and telling it like it is, versus being suppressed by agile propagandists and apologists.

A sample of recent blog postings along these lines:

In http://www.impermium.com/blog/breaking-free-from-the-cult-6-reasons-why-agile-doesnt-work/ Talia mentions the following:

  “Velocity” is a unicorn. Things are never the same from sprint to sprint: there’s a holiday in the middle, someone takes a vacation, or gets pulled into debugging production issues. Even if everything else were perfect – spot-on estimations and no mid-sprint requirements – you still wouldn’t be able to accurately compare productivity from one sprint to another.

In http://cio.co.nz/cio.nsf/focus/why-agile-isnt-working the author mentions:

The second flaw, development over planning, hits the agile principle of “responding to change over following a plan.” In theory, developers code while collaborating with stakeholders to define, refine and change requirements as the projects goes along. The methodology, however, does not distinguish between big and small changes.

Every change has a cost, but agile does not account for this. The result? People often change really big things late in the game using the rationale that since it’s an agile project, it can handle it. The only way the project can handle this is by adding iterations. As that happens, defects that might have been easy to fix at one point get harder and harder to fix, since the code base keeps changing.

This principle encourages poor and irresponsible planning while hiding its effects. As iterations continue and the defect list grows, the customer becomes more frustrated-not only because of the lack of quality, but because delivery expectations aren’t being met either. This is much different from more traditional practices, where you have a project based on well-defined requirements and changes are managed through a Change Management process-which, while sometimes byzantine, will at least state time and monetary costs more clearly.

In http://www.itworld.com/software/359398/why-your-users-hate-agile-development-and-what-you-can-do-about-it?page=0,1

“There is no process. Things fly all directions, and despite SVN [version control] developers overwrite each other and then have to have meetings to discuss why things were changed. Too many people are involved, and, again, I repeat, there is no process.”

“Sometimes that “Agile means disorganization” mindset encourages users and clients to interpret the process as “It’s okay to be capricious.” Yes, Agile does permit users to swap priorities even towards the end of a big project. But developer Sorin Costea observed the downside when things worked smoothly: “These users could not believe there are also limits to the delivery power. They could not really grasp velocity or timeboxing, but expected to throw in stories any moment and also get them in time.” With the reasoning that, “Hey, we are Agile aren’t we?”

http://blog.assembla.com/assemblablog/tabid/12618/bid/87899/Seven-Things-I-Hate-About-Agile.aspx   is a well known post and definitely worth a read, as is http://lostechies.com/jimmybogard/2012/09/12/why-im-done-with-scrum/


About postagilist

Architect, Manager, Developer, Musician, Post-Agile thought leader
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5 Responses to Hating on Agile goes Mainstream

  1. hateit says:

    Hate Agile , hate the scrum mater idiot

    All my knowledge , architect level and I don’t even know what the f is the scum master submitting to the management , I get no recognition my status is same as a guy who came out of school 2 days ago , and the use the word “TEAM” Yeah right , furthermore they want to implement scum process , telecommute workers from India yeah right what about my professional development ?

    Its like I am a F-1 driver , and I am forced to sit in backseat while , two chimps drive the car when the car hits a raccoon (CEO) then its me the architect who gets the blame ?

    F*** scrum

  2. Pingback: The Non-Agile Methodology | EpixCode

  3. abcdefgh says:

    Sick of scrum. I don’t know what planet the developers who like scrum come from. I don’t know how a self respecting developer can like scrum. Totally idiotic methdology. The whole concept is based on treating adult developers like kids. (what have you done today? What have you done yesterday? Really????).

  4. DC says:

    One thing that I have rarely seen mentioned in any articles on Agile is the effect of the quality of the codebase that is used. By this I mean it’s design/engineering and implementation. It is rare now to start a project from scratch so most consist of modifications and/or enhancements to existing suites of software.
    If the codebase is good (don’t bother asking me to define good – just talk to the developers) then the average story estimation time will be accurate and everything should fall in to place.
    However, if this is not the case then stories/sprints/deliveries will overrun, the product backlog will not come down at the desired rate, the problem list will grow and generally be ignored, developer morale will plummet and product quality will degrade even further. Engineering is now no longer important, as after all it will be delivered anyway as Managers are under pressure to get it out the door.
    So I would suggest if you are thinking of adopting Agile as a solution to your problems first find out the true state of the codebase that will be used. If it is ‘good’ then Agile may help (but then why do you need it?) but it could result in the codebase degrading as functionality is flung in at an increased rate.
    If however it is ‘bad’ then adopting Agile will not help, you could however implement it (including adding a few people that are ‘passionate’ about it) and adopt the delusion that it is working.

  5. drone says:

    Agile is by definition, an admission by management that they are clueless about technology. Without numbers, they would not know if a project was going well or not. Their short sighted goals, need constant attention from numbers, to make them happy, even if their true long term goal takes much longer.

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