Sunday, December 02, 2012

Introverted Programming: Agile by name, Not So Much by reputation.

Shagwell by name, shag very well by reputation
Witnessing quite a few project within past two years I am still surprised how world differs from what is declared and discussed inside the community walls.
Agile and its incarnations are vary rarely a weapon of choice. Even projects declared as “agile” only adopt superficial practices. Projects routinely planned and executed the same “proved” way and routinely spill over time and budgets. Project Manager's most daring task is to successfully invent excuses manage client’s expectations when “it” hits the fan. Iterations do not exist or their length is arbitrary and inconsistent: one of the projects I observed had two iterations – four months and one month. Retrospective meetings, even if held (rarely), have zero value as no statistic data is being gathered or it is irrelevant. Everybody had their own idea of what went well in iteration and what did not (and kept this thoughts to themselves). In some projects Agile was understood as a roam-naked-and-free environment - no documentation, no plan, just build-as-we-go. *
There is no software project manager in existence who hasn’t heard about the agile methodology, yet just 11 years since declaration of independence agile manifesto was signed and it is already old news for vast majority of IT folk.
We seem to not learn anything from the hardware revolutions. Who could believe that ugly smelly noisy tin cans could replace centuries-proven horses as a main meaning of transportation? Internal combustion engines have existed for almost 80 years before been attached to a real self-propelled carriage and it took another 20 years for an automobile to make it to the mass-production. Assuming that life has accelerated tenfold since then, we should have seen our Henry Ford for Agile mass-production already.
Let’s face it - it’s hopeless.

 * Disclaimer:  Any resemblance to actual events or locales or projects, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. The fictional projects in description were stumbled upon during my contracting years and user group discussions. Some of them got better with time.

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