Tom Gilb Laments the “10 Wasted Years of Agile”
[From the Archive: Originally posted at Amplify.com Aug 15, 2010]
I very much share Tom’s summary of “the state of Agile”:
The Agile Manifesto  was never a well formulated document, from the point of view of making sure we did the right things right. I have at least, in my principles and values here, tried, in my not too humble opinion, to show a specific alternative – how it might have been. The manifesto has of course been successful in getting a wave of change. And moving to rapid iteration is a ‘good thing’. But rapidly iterating in wrong directions is not progress. The key idea of intelligent iteration towards well- defined stakeholder values, was clearly and extensively spelled out in Principles of Software Engineering Management, which most of the leading agile gurus point to as a source of some of their agile ideas. But as some of them reflect today, they missed at least one simple but essential point – ‘stakeholder value’ needs to be the guiding light for the iterative process – not functions and stories.
Hey, we are still a young discipline. We only wasted about a decade getting this wrong. Software has been seeing failed fads come and go for 50 years. We have so many experienced intelligent people now – maybe we can get it right in the next revolution?
If the IT-project failure rate (total plus partial) goes down from about 90% (Standish) to less than 2%, you will know we got it right, for a change. Do you think we can do it right by my 100th Birthday?
For Tom’s full paper, see: “Value-Driven Development Principles and Values – Agility is the Tool, Not the Master” (pdf).
- flowchainsensei “Do you think we can do [software projects] right by my 100th Birthday?” ~ @imtomgilb | Or mine?