Monday, September 20, 2010

The Agile Antimanifesto (or the antiagile manifesto)

Many years ago, I had the misfortune of working in a project where people spending all their day on Online Sudoku and Facebook had the guts to call themselves "Agile". It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, seeing systems being abused, and chaos and approximation rule unconstrained.

I was eventually kicked out of that project, because I was challenging the general misconception of Agility, and the firing manager told me "it's not enough to be right" (maybe he meant: you must also be a sneaky politician and a sycophant). That taught me a lesson: if you want to keep your job, always smile and say yes, even if the Titanic he heading full speed towards an iceberg.

I am not anti-Agilist, I simply believe that "Agility" require extreme competence, coordination and organization, rigorous control and discipline; too often, Agile is an excuse to be slack.

When left in the hands of the wrong people, Agile becomes a Religion, and Religion has never made a project successful AFAIK - unless your target is the transfer of wealth from the Poor to the Elites, which is mostly what religions are for.

Hence here is my Agile Antimanifesto.

We are Agile, therefore we don't send emails so at a later stage you cannot use that email against me

We are Agile, therefore if you resist to a last minute change to be put in production without any test, it means you are lazy and un-agile .

We are Agile, therefore we can change architecture every week and make you work every day until midnight re-implementing the same functionality in 10 different ways, and then blame you because you have delivered late.

We are Agile, therefore we delegate all the analysis to the developers without even providing any guidelines. Then blame them because them didn't implement according to the guidelines which exist only in our head - or don't exist at all, we are too agile to elaborate guidelines.

We are Agile, therefore we go to all meetings and you must read our brains if you want to know what was decided; we will never inform you, we are Agile which means you must be Telepathic.

We are Agile, therefore we don't need to work hard.... as we are Agile, we do all the bla bla and you do all the work. We are Agile and Smart, and Smart people work Smart, not Hard. That is, we don't need to work at all, all we need to do is to say "Agile" once in a while and delegate everything.

We are Agile, therefore we don't need to do any analysis, we will improvise everything along the way; an Agilist God will inspire us and miraculously turn Chaos into Order at the end. We don't design anything and don't publish blueprints, one day they could be used against us and this is not Agile.

We are Agile, and if we put the word Agile in every sentence we don't need to give any rational answer to your objections. Actually we don't even need to listen to you, because if you object you are not Agile.

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