Thursday, December 07, 2006

Agile Religion

I was going to write a blog entry about this Agile debate at Thoughtworks. But, Micheal Burke said it all much better than I could. So, I reproduce it here for your reading enjoyment. Man, I wish I had written this.
I thought Patton's definition of "software success" (taken from the blog post) was interesting:

'We knew we?d delivered successfully not when the ?EAR file as uploaded to the server,? but when we saw end users successfully working with the software on a daily basis.'

Depends on the scope of a project I suppose, but for me, I would add to that sentence "and in 5 years' time".

That draws in concerns such as flexibility of design, level and quality of documentation, ability to accomodate increasing volumes, anticipation of change, etc.

A lot of these things are anathema to the Agile dogmatist mindset (you ain't gonna need it!), and, dare I say it, the typical consultancy mindset (I've used my glorious methodology, now the maintenance guys can take over and I'll move on to the next gig - but first I'll blog about how great I feel about it.)

Given the investment in money, people and time for software of any real significance, just having something that is good enough today is, not, well, good enough.

The point that 'Agile' is now an overused cliche is well made. As is the use of 'Waterfall' to paint any project that doesn't call themselves 'Agile'. They're just labels that lazy people use to pigeonhole - kind of like music genres!

All I can add is, "AMEN BROTHER!" I totally agree.

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