A company decides to follow the current trend and finally adopt this whole “agile” thing. They’ve been using the adjective for some time now in their job offers and eventually got some people who have done it before. The scrum framework is chosen, as the most popular, and instantaneously the project managers become CSMs, work is chopped up into fortnightly iterations, user stories are written, demos are given, … the whole lot.
Weeks and months go by, senior managers review progress and they are pleased.
- User stories: we are finally able to lock the requirements down into the finest detail. Win.
- Daily stand-up: never was there so much opportunity for regular micro-management. Win.
- Demos: now also the more senior people get to play the micro-management game. Win.
- Retrospectives: we did the best job we could, pat on the back, morale boost. Win.
- Sprint planning: at last we know exactly how long it will take and we know whom to hold accountable. Win.
- Scrum board: there is a new system, now we can track everything, Every. Single. Smallest. Bug. Win.
Eventually the “agile” adoption creates an environment precisely like the one manifesto signatories were working so hard to avoid.
I’m sure it doesn’t happen.
I’m sure it shouldn’t happen.
Or should it?