[Reblog] It’s a Trap! Agile Lessons from Star Wars

Here is a nice blog post that links Star wars, specifically “Return of the Jedi”, and Agile or software development in general: It’s a trap

Get a room!
Wicket was just trying to hunt when he stumbled upon…

 

[Reblog] Say “agile” one more time

Here is a nice blog post about Agile, and how it can be wrongly misused/misunderstood: Say “agile” one more time

you mean agile

While reading it, I thought again about the idea of Agile being old, dead, inappropriate to the current industry. Is it really? I think it really depends on what you mean by Agile. If you mean that you must follow all the Scrum artifacts and ceremonies, no matter what, then it might be good for you, but it might also be misleading you to places you don’t want to be (like in Galina’s post). If, instead, you understand agile, and any of its frameworks, as a mindset of quick feedback loops, a way to organize your teams (as opposed to chaos) and a way to help the people focus on the correct things, then probably Agile is still good for your needs.

 

Is Agile Dead? I don’t think so… Part III

As a Bachelor degree Mathematics student, I came across the ‘Proof by contradiction‘ form of proof and immediately liked it. This is a very elegant and logical way of proofing something that otherwise might be very difficult to prove. One of the very few proofs I still remember from the good old college days is Euclides’ proof of the infinitude of primes, which is a proof by contradiction.euclid.jpg It is so elegant, you can recreate it yourself without needing to remember almost anything, only that you need to start off by assuming there is a maximal prime number.

What does this have to do with Agile, or the death of it, you ask? Well, on my journey looking for clues of Agile’s death, I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to use the proof by contradiction method here. So, I stated the following: “Agile is dead, therefore there must be other alternatives rising and taking over the industry”. I admit I didn’t look into the possibility that Agile died and nothing is replacing it, just chaos. This doesn’t seem to be a relevant option, since Software development can work in chaos only in very small and very few companies, and all the others must find some way of managing it all.

So, if there must be alternatives, let’s find them. One interesting alternative I found was the Manifesto for Async software developement. This manifesto resembles of course the Agile Manifesto, looking at valuing ‘this’ over ‘that’, where ‘this’ are different than what the Agile manifesto values. The ideas of this manifesto are quite good and at least interesting. I don’t have much against them, if any. However, at least for me, they seem to be a spin-off of Agile that best fits some specific use case. Let’s look at their principles: Modern Tools, Meetings only as a last resort, Flexible work environments and Document everything. Modern tools – no contradiction to Agile. Meetings only as a last resort – well this does seem to be in contradiction to the ceremonies in Agile. But I believe that Agile is agile, meaning that we are flexible in doing what is right for us, while implementing it. So if it is right for us not to have dailies – then we can skip them. I truly believe dailies are very valuable, but I can’t argue they must be valuable for everyone every time. So if in certain extreme cases, the PO can be the one collaborating between everyone, and no one else will care about that, then maybe it is correct to skip these meetings as much as possible. This does not contradict Agile in my eyes. Flexible work environments – sure! Document everything? of course. I mean we should document everything worthwhile, and in the best suitable way. Right?

asyncmanifesto.org

So my conclusion here is that although it looks like something different than Agile, the Async software manifesto is just another version of it. Maybe even a new version of an Agile workflow, like Scrum and Kanban. This of course doesn’t prove yet that Agile is not dead, I am still looking for the alternatives or successors. Once I find them, we might be able to accept that Agile is ending. If not, then I might have just proved that Agile is not dead. At least, not yet.

If you have any other alternatives for Agile you would like to recommend, please let me know!