If you are a Certified Scrum Master, you are doing it wrong.
Dr Dobbs piece on how Agile mutated into the dogma we know today: http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/the-corruption-of-agile/240166698
You’ll have to forgive me if previous posts convey the impression that I regard Agile as simply an elaborate practical joke that exists solely to wring cash out of clueless organizations and unworldly cretins. Nothing could be further from the truth, and to prove it I present you with a wonderful and educational gift.
This exciting “graphic novel” produced, we have to assume, in earnest by PMI shows how Agile(R) skills are not just of use in the Scrum room of a dull IT company but can save lives godammit! Experience the thrills as Angela, our plucky protagonist, manages to not just save a little girl from an icy death but also free a crack team of project managers who could have been trapped in a luxury hotel for several inconvenient days! As others lose their heads, she calmly uses her knowledge of the Agile Approach(tm), to make signs, arrange meetings and facilitate the deployment of information radiators. Without wanting to spoil the end of the story, it’s worth noting that she never lets her ego get in the way of The Agile Approach, and invites everyone else to congratulate themselves in a sincere display of selflessness. Woo-hoo! they all shout joyfully, for they feel happy to have been part of the experience. But deep down acknowledge that Angela alone was responsible for the success.
Think on Hollywood – perhaps it’s about time someone remade The Poseidon Adventure with an Agile hero!
(Thanks to Mr Fritz for sending me this gem)
Here it is! A cut-out-and-keep Genuine(R) Agile(R) Voucher with the value of 13 Genuine(R) Agile(R) points:
Please read the terms and conditions before you award it to someone, otherwise the points may end up being a meaningless waste of everyone’s time.
Seven months after our official launch date, as estimated by the extraordinary powers of Agile, we launched our new software. Even to the most meagre intelligence it must be obvious that it took this length of time because that’s how long it takes to produce a viable product using our current “Agile” process. I’m only glad that the people higher up were able to delay release until all of the problems were ironed out. Obviously they aren’t all ironed out, but that’s software development for you. At least now I’m not embarrassed to be associated with the released product.
A few months back, our born-again-Agile-boss came out with one of the most fatuous statements imaginable; faced with the fact that each team failed to finish every “Story” in the allotted time of a two week “Iteration”, we were described as being “addicted to overhang”. Let’s put this another way: the fact that we can’t produce the goods in our arbitrarily allotted time-span isn’t because the requirement is unreasonable, it’s that we are “addicts” of not finishing on time. It’s truly cathartic to get this out by the way – it has been gnawing away at my soul.
Yes we addicts of lateness have finally managed to get a product out. We are genuinely happy about that.
My only gripe is that the management have learned nothing from the past year; we have a new platform to launch and we have a new arbitrary deadline that is not feasible. Not only are the management pretending that it *is* feasible but the middle management, composed entirely of contractors from a consultancy that I now consider to be more of a church than an IT firm, go along with the fantasy plans.
Can’t we stop lying for a few minutes a day? Can’t we be honest?
No. We can’t. That’s the rule apparently.
Honesty leads to tears, literally. That is how fucked our company is.
As the iteration continues, and the developers write code, and the developers fix bugs, the software improves. The developers and the QA teams know this because they are using the software all day and are naturally aware of the progress being made. However the BA’s, PO’s, and PM’s do not know how things are going, because they try to spend as little time as possible dealing with the “technical stuff” (they’re much too important to deal with the nuts and bolts). Consequently they rely on the post-cards (or the post-card emulators) to determine what’s being done. Only when a Story gets “Accepted” do they celebrate; even if the feature was coded weeks ago and was simply being debugged or honed since then. Even if it was just sitting around waiting for one of the high-folk to approve it.
For daily business, we all communicate via an Instant Message system. Around three weeks after a developer has finished implementing a particular feature, it is common to get a message directed at everyone which reads something along the lines of “Story-1554 has been accepted! That’s 12 points!!!!” at which we’re all supposed to get excited, whoop, jump around and high five each other or some shit. Some people regard points as being akin to money, treats or gold stars – others, like me, just get saddened. A feature we implemented has been “accepted”. We already know it works because we (and QA) have tested it. But now, the actual work has transcended from boring-old-code to something really valuable: Agile Points!
So I’ve decided to make a range of official Agile-points gift cards that we can give out to BA’s and PO’s and all of the other worthless MBA fucktards for their birthdays etc. What better way to celebrate than to apply an extra 5 Agile Points to your project! The work will get done even quicker after that (and that’s Science that is)!