Monday, July 15, 2013

When to stop "agile practices" and "agile tools"

I'm seeing many "agile" movements getting started by organizations where people think they are doing agile by renaming roles to those used in Scrum and by using "agile tools". This really isn't agile - the first topic in the Agile Manifesto is "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools". Nevertheless, people accustomed to processes and tools just don't get it. The consultant may know this isn't really agile, but is pressed  to get the "agile movement" started in an organization and found this to be much easier to get results in a shorter time frame.

When I was learning violin, my teacher told me to stop practicing for  a week or two when I got into a bad habit. He told me that trying to "undo" my bad habit isn't going to work because the more I think about it, the more I'll actually do it. It was better to forget what I was doing and to start over.

Recently, I'm beginning to think the same think with agile. Having development team do "devops" by using using "devops tool" such as Chef and not getting operation team involved during development isn't actually devops. During a "standup Scrum daily meeting" sitting down because the meeting is taking too long and it's too tiring to do it standing up is missing the point of "standup meeting".

To get an agile movement started, it's necessary to "accept" these practices at the beginning to get people involved, but it's necessary to stop these when the movement gets started because it really does more harm than good in the long run. I think the big question is when it is best to stop these non-agile practices from being called "agile" or was it better to not accept these as being "agile" in the first place?

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