Things I hate about Agile

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You think my life in agile world is ideal? No. There are several things that I really hate about agile. So let’s start our “two minutes hate”.

Here they are:

1) How often word “agile” is used

Usually it is used much often if the company tries to look “agile”, but it is not. Sales managers think they just need to use this word not less than 10 times during the meeting with client, Project managers usually state that their teams are “so agile”.

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I hear this word not less than 10 times a day (yes, I often have meetings with sales managers), but no one seems to understand what they are talking about.

2) Quick and cheap

Top managers and clients assuming that finally, using this magic “method”, we can make the software QUICK AND CHEAP.  And quality is the focus, of course. Have you forgotten about the manifesto, dude? By the way, we all have read that great book “Quality is free”!  Flexibility and changes seem to be free now too.

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3) Weak teams

Agile is blamed for the failures. “See, we implemented your agile and project failed!” But usually the lack of the knowledge of developers is the cause of failures, not the agile. It is rather common that developers have issues with fundamentals of software engineering and applying the appropriate practices for the problem they are solving. I  came across senior developers who could not understand why we need writing unit tests, for example.

I often hear the great comment from the project managers – “Great, you assume that your agile team would be highly professional, not saying cross functional motivated…But the reality is that I have 5 juniors to develop this project.” And I usually answer –  “At least they seem to be motivated…”

So managers blame agile frameworks for not taking into account that we are working with not competent developers. What? Can you name the methodology which takes into account we are working with not competent developers? That we have issues with fundamentals? Agile prohibits writing tests or performing refactoring? It makes you write spaghetti code?

Weak teams are probable to fail regardless of the methodology they use.

4)Silver bullet

The other thing I have about agile is that it is “implemented” to solve some existing issues in the company and is treated as the silver bullet. The reality is that “implementing” agile makes the whole system  even more stable.  In addition to high expectations level – it will solve everything without our help and we don’t have to change our mindset and behavior – it becomes a disaster.

5) Failure of attitude

People study the instruments at agile trainings and after go and implement them. Not understanding, how to apply them, what they are for. Is it a fault of the instrument that it was not used properly? But we still blame the instrument – practices. And we think that agile is no good, because it’s instruments are no good.

6) Agile haters

They will do everything to show you that agile is not working. They call you crazy agile evangelist and you are not thinking of them any better.

7) Agile trainings

They make you believe you can “implement” scrum tomorrow in your team. They force you to do so asap. They provide you the basic knowledge of the instruments, but you still can’t realize what it is all for. I am a bit scared of certified scrum masters (yes, I have this certificate myself, so beware) – they are so enthusiastic to start the revolution!

And what do you hate about Agile?

7 thoughts on “Things I hate about Agile

  1. This is what we older software engineers tried to warn scrum masters about five years ago – business people are just going to warp ‘agile’ into doing things shoddily. Think Nasa uses agile for satellites? Yeah, not so much.

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