My Forlorn Love Letter to Agile

My Forlorn Love Letter to Agile

[From the Archive: Originally posted at Jun 30, 2009]

Dear Agile,

You seemed so cute and svelte the first time I saw you. And as we got to know each other better I fell more and more in love with you. I loved your purity of spirit, your inner strength, and the humanity implicit in the way you looked at the world.

But then I came to see another side to you. Your self-indulgence. Your tendency to have trouble relating to non-agile people and their ways of being. And above all, your narcissism. These aspects jar and jangle with my values.

Am I wanting too much? Can I not be satisfied with you the way you are? Why do I have this yearning for someone else with more depth, a more rounded view of life? Is it me, or are we just not so well-matched, after all?

Forlornly yours

– Bob

  1. fjfish said:

    For some reason your tone reminds me of the speech in “V for Vendetta”, where V addresses Justice and then blows up the Old Bailey 😉

    I think you could easily replace the now-debased word agile with lean and not change a thing. It comes back to people wanting things in a box, wanting to have an algorithm for something that’s soft and not always perfect. People are not machines, and unfortunately picking up the outer forms of agile (as in the 3 things for scrum, for example) just means you’re dancing around a handbag with the word agile written on it. Most software management came out of the mass of coders, and think that you can just program everybody and it will be fine.

    Picking it up and understanding why you do those things, which are all about communicating early and often, that really means an expert’s view. This is the problem: the manifesto was written by people with decades of experience between them, it was picked up by expensive consultancies to allow them to dress in more radical clothes while selling the same old snake oil built around billing for time instead of struggling for results.

    The other problem is the fundamental disconnect between the gantt-charters and the agilistas – but they try and coexist. It doesn’t work, there’s a break right at the bottom of the two ways of thinking and the gantt-charters generally hold the budgets, so of course agile fails – because what’s being promulgated isn’t agile, but a poor shadow that has been compromised to fit in with big-corp guaranteed failure.

  2. Lol. If agile is the original manifesto, I think you may still be in love?

  3. John Jolley said:

    Awesome! I too have fallen out with “agile”, whatever that means these days with prescriptive rules, primadona’s and all…

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