An Open Letter to the Management Suite
So you’ve heard about this Agile thing, and want some of it?
Quicker delivery, better quality software, more engaged developers, lower costs, increased flexibility to respond to changes in e.g. customer demand or strategic company priorities. What’s not to like?
And many organisations have already jumped on the Agile train. More get on board every day. But it’s not the smooth ride many expect. Nor is the train’s destination where you think – or where the headboards advertise.
The Agile Train is Heading for Radicalsville
Do you want to go there? If so, all well and good. Let me describe Radicalsville to you, just in case you’ve not been there before:
In Radicalsville, there’s no Sheriff. No Mayor. No Judge. No Parent Teacher Associations. No Police Department. People are mature enough to care about their town and look after it, together. Folks get together to talk about trade, quality of life, making the town a nicer, fairer, more humane place to live. Justice is restorative, not punitive. People make their own laws. Democracy is direct, not representative. Everyone has fun. Everyone plays a lot. Things get done. The sense of community is palpable. The relations between folks are as important, and receive at least as much attention, as the individuals themselves. Problems, accidents, etc. get picked up by anyone in the right place at the right time, assuming they’re capable of handling it. If not, there’s always other folks with time to pitch in (no one in Radicalsville is so busy as to not have spare time). The town shares a common purpose, and works as a whole to enact that purpose, every day.
Still want to get on that train? If so, no problems.
But not sure so much, now? Could you get the benefits by getting on a different train? Not really. You see, Radicalsville is where all this good stuff is happening. Other places may have their own attractions – some folks like the calm, sterile, well-policed streets and leafy gridded boulevards of CMMI City. And there’s always the wild frontier. Although you’d have to eschew the train and go buy some horses, instead.
Of course, you’re not going to listen to me. The attractions of Agile sound too fabulous, don’t they? And as humans we’re pre-wired to see the positives and discount the negatives.
Look out for the snakes!