Of late Agile has become the talk of the town in the corporate world. Chiefly applied in the software industry, Agile is the software development methodology that breaks down work into smaller deployable units thereby reducing the risk and making delivery more efficient. But how much realistic is that is really debatable. On ground the situation is not always ideal and things get funny when all those Agile lessons seem like not really working.
Agile is definitely not for those old school programmers who once start with coding don’t even blink an eye till the entire application is done; Agile is about breaking down complex tasks into minimum viable products – one at a time. Agile is like a breaking a project into smaller sub-projects and slowly and slowly develop, test and deploy all of these minimum viable products. So there is no important time dimension in Agile and that sometimes is frustrating for the impatient project owners who pump their money into the delivery. They always want to push more and more and get the larger results in less time. And in most of the cases, Agile disappoints them. Agile is not about less time, it’s about quality work. If nothing else, Agile definitely teaches us patience. Agile attests the fact that “You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant” as rightly said by Warren Buffett.
In Agile, things start getting crazy when it comes to assigning points to various user stories, a process also known as story pointing or estimation. This process is always confusing because there is no fixed formula to do that. However there are many ways in which developers can trick this process to make their job easy. And then starts a crazy bargaining between developers and the managers like in a fish market.
People don’t really love agile. It somehow jeopardizes that comfort zone of finishing a task at ease. Agile brings daily stand-ups and hence there is accountability. You are questioned for your work every day and your progress is gauged against the number of points you burn. You like it or not, the Karbon board with all the sticky posts of different colors is always there looking at you, reminding you of your pending work. So people who are work-shy definitely don’t like agile.
Daily stand-ups also have their own limitations. Stand-ups that are supposed to be short 5 minutes scrums end up in hour-long debates. One discussion goes round and round, left to right and into all possible directions.
P.S. Agile was actually devised to bring a revolution alas its improper implementation can take you back to the old school way of working. So it has to be either strictly agile or nothing.
About The Author
Abdul Wajid , a Software Engineering Professional, works as a programmer during the day and later seeks refuge in writing. He believes that while one can create almost anything using coding, writing can create absolutely everything.
Here at ZorseBolo, he plays the role of Nosey Parker who keenly observes people at work and then captures them in his satirical writing – The corporate Satire.