Wednesday, May 24, 2006


How the agile community helps promote waterfall methodologies...

With the sole exception of Scott Mark, I have yet to see anyone represent an insider opinion of agile methodologies within the blogosphere. All of the discussions when discussing enterprises seem to be outsiders looking in...

I have always wondered what it would take for the agile community to be, well agile. Imagine if the agile community dropped its club-like feel and instead embraced open dialog with other communities. Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear the likes of Kent Beck at an industry vertical conference?

Agilists seem comfortable on their own turf and hold conferences where they practice command and control of the agenda. Ever notice that pretty much every agile conference has had the same set of speakers for the most part year over year? Sure, us enterprisey folk could always attend agile conferences but in all honesty, we already have little say in which one's we attend.

You are probably aware that many of us attend conferences put on by industry analysts. This is not because we necessarily gain insight from oversummarized information and highly abstracted sources but because they are great opportunities for networking with peers and happen to be the most budget friendly choice we have. Don't always expect us to come to your turf but instead consider presenting at one of the conferences we already attend.

Maybe, Ron Jeffries or Uncle Bob would consider putting some effort into presenting at an upcoming Gartner conference? Wouldn't it be interesting to see Ward Cunningham at say an Infoworld conference?

When was the last time any "high-ranking" agilist ever had an open honest dialog with executives in a Fortune 100 enterprise? Of course, you have as you were there attempting to sell us something. Do you think we were really listening?

I wonder what would happen if Martin Fowler decided to hook up with Accenture's CTO and talk about how Accenture could adopt agile approaches on all of their consulting engagements? Who would be the bigger impediment in making such a dialog occur? Imagine if Alistair Cockburn did the same thing with the CTO of Wipro?

Ignoring certain practical considerations, if this were to actually occur I speculate that agile would grow by leaps and bounds. This of course would mean that the founding members may lose control. Maybe they are fearful of agile growing beyond them...

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