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I've seen this cycle a few times. Let me handwave how it goes:

* Agile Critisism: The snake oil is all over and getting worse!

* Agilista: It's not done properly!

* Agile Criticism: No True Scotsman!

I think the NTS is where things usually leave the line and end up in a lot of splutters and anecdotes.

Sometimes I wonder if the great flamewars and their arguments should be canonized into standard textfiles and passed around. Much like the old story of joking by only using numbers. :-)

In this guy's defense, there is a lot of Fake Agile out there. People (business people, project managers, mostly) seem to think that Agile means using a new set of buzzwords. Standups? They're daily status reports to management, right?

It was in my organization that I first heard the word "Scrummerfall." People learn the tools (stand-up meetings! Stories! Sprints!) but not everyone bothers to grok the purpose (I haven't seen "good agile" yet so neither have I).

Agile certainly isn't unique in this regard. I've seen an MVC project with only one action on only one controller which had a ton of parameters to control its behavior. There's a balance between "I need to thoroughly understand how to use this concept idiomatically" and "I don't have time to read up on another buzzword."

Standups? They're daily status reports to management, right?

More importantly, they're daily status reports to each others, internally to your team.

Right. So one of the main smells of an ineffective methodology is going through the same motions but not realizing the intent of each action.

Some examples: standups becoming daily status reports, the customer demo becoming it's own production, and let's not get started on retrospectives.

It doesn't have to be that way. Agile has a ton of advocacy, it just needs the right advocates that really understand it to help guide teams in the right direction. Agile has been entirely too driven by salesmen the last few years.

The Agile Manifesto is a great starting point, but beyond that I think Agile is too poorly defined; I think the values of the Agile Manifesto are best made concrete in terms of a high level meta-methodological framework in Lean methodologies with (under various names) the PDCA cycle wherein teams have ownership of their own specific processes, strictly follow the processes they define, have clear success metrics, propose process changes from within the team when there is an observed problem with the existing process in meeting desired results, and do empirical tests of the proposed changes using the success metrics.

Outside of this kind of concrete instantiation, "Agile" seems to diverge into, on the one side, a combination of empty buzzwords and arbitrary churn where no one knows who is responsible for what or what standards are because there is no process, or externally-defined prescriptive processes of exactly the sort that the Agile Manifesto was a reaction against.

People over processes has to mean processes are tools that serve the people on the team, not "no process" or "process taken as received wisdom because of respect for the person or institution originating it".

This seems illogically dismissive, unless you're criticizing the lack of actual discourse instead of the critics as a group, which I'm not really clear on. It comes off as "The Other Side has nothing to go on but insults and logical fallacies."

If someone wants to intelligently go after the Agilist community or intelligently defend it, they are my guest. But frankly, both sides throw anecdata, insults, fallacies, and feelgoodisms out there by the truckload.

Further remark: I figured I'd just bypass the otherwise-upcoming NTS yell and just clear the air so we could all go for the random anecdata and general arguments about Waterfall! Bad Agile! Scrum Masters! and how they caused problems.

Um, which "side" of that conversation do you think is being dismissive?


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