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Future of Agile approach

Following are my comments on ‘Is the Agile Manifesto killing agile?’ in Agile Alliance group in Linkedin:

Agile was born as a corrective movement at a time when documentation ruled in the name of process and quality. At one end of the spectrum that over and outdated documentation issue still remains. At the other end, we have projects which abuse agile approach to justify ad-hoc activities.

I believe, spirit of agile approach is still very relevant. But, I am afraid, an attempt to bring in checks and policing to ensure agile compliance would only lead agile approach to the textbook compliance but weak in practice

Perceivable (lack of) openness in exchange of ideas and discussion of bottlenecks/risks in a stand-up meeting can be a case in point. For instance, how ACTIVE is a tester’s participation. Does a tester dare to ask uncomfortable questions in such meeting? When is customer/end user involved? How ACTIVE is customer/end user participation?… But on the other hand, putting checks and measures here will lead to ritualistic compliance

What I find great about agile approach is bringing focus back to people that process and documentation. Key to success is people (at every level, from top management to end user) with right attitude, motivation and skills, that is where it is being hit and correction has to be precisely there.

I believe, a second round aggressive campaign to spread awareness on what agile is, and what agile is not, on a larger forum addressing all stakeholders (including customers, end users, developers, testers, managers, senior management). This has to happen at global and local (organizational/project) level; my general experience with people are they listen to reason.

There cannot be a better time than NOW considering current recession. Purse strings are tight and panic reaction is to go for cheap labor, cutting corners in documentation (cutting even necessary documentation without adequate mechanisms for knowledge percolation and persistence) in the name of being agile. But there is a better way, making right decisions and right choices. Agile, if it has to stay, must deliver solution NOW; and with my experience, I think, it is possible!

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December 28, 2008 - Posted by | software engineering

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