I just read this on a website that was saying how great Agile is:
- With Agile, “things emerge”. There is little up-front design or specification. The method favours on-the-fly development.
- There is a focus on collaboration, iteration and continuous review. So much so that the customer actually sits inside the development team.
- Agile eschews reporting and documentation formalities. Instead it favours more casual communication, such as whiteboard workflows.
- Teams are empowered to make decisions, requiring no escalation to higher-ups.
- Agile suits products undergoing frequent development. An example is a website, which can evolve in small increments. It’s not deemed necessary to have a “big release” to work towards.
- Teams enjoy working in agile environments
To me it sounds like a recipe for chaos
My comments are:
- “Little up-front design or specification”: fine for an app or small website but for anything else this will lead to tears later when you deliver something the customer doesn’t want, or when the iterations take longer and cost more than the customer originally expected (they ALWAYS have a time and cost in mind!)
- “Collaboration” – OK, that’s always a good idea. The sky is blue and I like apple pie.
- “No reporting”- great so we are in the dark until we discover too late that it’s behind plan, it’s not going to be ready on time. “Whiteboard workflows” – yes, we know, they are called network diagrams.
- “Empowerment and no escalation” – great, so management are in the dark. What if the team can’t see the bigger picture (and why should they? That’s what is management is for).
- “No big release” – so there we are, it’s no good for anything big, that has a finish point. So that rules out …..buildings, event management, products requiring manufacture, and anything that needs booking dates of cranes, rooms, people etc. And what if your little agile project is part of something bigger, it has to fit into a bigger plan (which is always the case) – and you can’t say to the bigger plan when you’ll be finished, or exactly what you’ll deliver. That’s not going to work….
- “Teams like it” – I bet they do! No finish date, no budget, no reporting, no accountability, just play for as long as you like. Brilliant (until the end when it all falls apart).
I still think it’s the emperors new clothes, I just CAN’T see anything new that has any value at all.
Come on somebody, convince me. I WANT to believe…..