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Saturday, November 15, 2008

The next step, Agile hungover

So, it is starting to happen. All around us we see people like
James Shore or Rob Bowley proclaiming the end of Scrum, that we don't really get it and that many teams do cycles, but forget about the rest.

If you have been following the different waves of software process adoption this should be no news for you.

However, there's a twist. If you have read about the Auto industry and it's woes and have read about Lean (as in manufacturing, not as in software development) you know by now that no process can save you, except one: PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act). The learning process.

In the software industry we are starting to see now the same signs that Lean consultants and commentators saw in the 90's in the car industry. A couple of people wrote a few books (like The Machine that Changed the World) and the Auto industry management started blindly copying the practices that were described in the book. They forgot to read and learn from the masters like Deming or Taiichi Ohno, and -- most importantly -- they forgot to use their brains. And then boom! 25 Billion USD bail out plan because the stupid management in the three big ones did not take the trouble to learn!

The same is happening in the software industry if Jim and Rob are to be believed, and there's no reason to doubt them. After all, it is human nature. People want a fast, short and painless way out, so they'll got for the cargo cult every time.

That leaves us, Agilists, with a big responsibility -- develop our practice. Understand how to make people use the most important principle of all: Learning! Practice the PDCA cycle -- the only cycle that really, really, really matters.

I said it before and will say it again: Let's not fall in love with Agile, let's fall in love with improving our industry!

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2 Comments:

  • Wooah! I wasn't proclaiming the end of Scrum, far from it I think it's here to stay it's just that it has a few issues right now - certainly nothing we it overcome. Really interesting post though. Rather than getting caught up in all the agile dogma I think we all need to spend more time looking at where it came from - Demming, Toyota, Shigeo Shingo and so on are the real fathers agile.

    By Anonymous Rob Bowley, at November 16, 2008 3:06 PM  

  • True.

    Any blog posts on your side brewing on the importance of the Japanese shift?

    By Blogger Vasco Duarte, at December 05, 2008 3:03 PM  

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