The problem with Agile, SCRUM and DevOps – and all abstract solutions – is that expectations are always set too high toward unachievable goals. Requirements management and applications development are just parts of a continuous journey, not the destination, because there is no final destination. Agile is a strategic attitude, not a CPA exam.
It Always Sounds Better Than It Is
Whether it’s Agile, DevOps, SCRUM, enterprise architecture, digital transformation or even cloud computing, we always wax poetic about how they will save a fortune, generate new revenue and, OMG, change everything. Technologists write business cases, sell them to non-technology executives and then proceed with unjustified optimism. This time it’s Agile methodology and its cousins SCRUM and DevOps.
Agile projects fail almost as much as all the others. Yet we still sell “Agile” as an elixir: “If we only had an Agile environment, an Agile team and executives who supported Agile transformation, everything would be great.” Listen to what Andy Hunt says about Agile:
“I am proud to be one of the 17 founders/authors of the The Agile Manifesto back in 2001. I think it provided a jolt of energy, hope of a better way of doing things, of creating software and making the world work better … but in the 14 years since then, we‘ve lost our way. The word ‘agile’ has become sloganized; meaningless at best, jingoist at worst. We have large swaths of people doing ‘flaccid agile,’ a half-hearted attempt at following a few select software development practices, poorly. We have scads of vocal agile zealots – as per the definition that a zealot is one who redoubles their effort after they’ve forgotten their aim. And worst of all, agile methods themselves have not been agile.”
There are lots of failures and something