Friday, April 14, 2006


Don't do stupid things on purpose

Us enterprisey folks tend to do stupid things on purpose in the name of governance, to get "buy-in" or some other Rationalization. I am of the belief that the Agile Manifesto provides a philosophy for avoiding stupidity...

On the way home yesterday, a peer of mines made an interesting comment regarding my strong beliefs in the benefits of being agile. Essentially, he recognized the fact that agile methods for software development could provide value to any large enterprise application effort by reducing complexity, increasing productivity, predicting higher quality and most importantly increasing morale. He also indicated a thought process that was right on the money.

Essentially, the vast majority of IT executives can't seem to get a consistent message from American developers as to how to meet the goals of the organization and therefore they have turned to their favorite insulting firms to provide them with the sage wisdom they seek. The vast majority of consulting firms that get the ear of IT executives tend to eschew agile approaches in favor of ceremonial CMM process-oriented maturity approaches. The one thing that has occured is that all of these consulting firms are consistent with their message.

I have always been of the belief that agile will stagnate unless it is allowed to grow beyond its original founding fathers. The vast majority of practitioners of Six Sigma and CMM more than likely couldn't even tell you much about the founding members and it has grown by leaps and bounds. Agile approaches are the only way that America and IT doesn't go down the toilet, so the community at large if they are interested in saving America must do their part to find out its root cause as to why it isn't being adopted faster especially when the value proposition is so obvious.

For agilists in the blogosphere, I would love for you folks to provide your own perspective on the following items:

Anyway, I think my takeway from the conversation with my industry peer yesterday was that it is futile for me to champion agile approaches as IT executives are already assimilated into heavyweight processes and I would have a better chance of success using a metal detector to find unicorns in my sock drawer than getting agile implemented on a large scale within any Fortune enterprise...

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