Should you take control of your Agile Projects


I suppose I shouldn’t be unhappy – sorting out other people’s grand cock-ups is how I’ve made a living, and many happy clients, for years.

The concept of Agile development attracting praise from anyone other than the Systems Integrators’ and Consultants who make a packet out of projects which never end, scope that always creeps, requirements which constantly change and / or grow, and are never fully delivered, is quite frankly absurd. They get paid, even if they don’t finish the job, and are assured of more business by not doing so.

The growing involvement of marketing people in the ‘Digital’ revolution is strongly reminiscent of the DOT COM boom and bust.  Marketing is a short-horizon, ethereal profession – here today…… even if only ever so briefly.

There are some people who say, ‘you’re only as good as your last project’ – that, my friends, is complete and utter nonsense.  However, it concerns me greatly that the art of project management has descended to one of ‘list keeping’ and the art of systems analysis and requirements definition have almost ceased to visibly exist.

I have no problem with the concept of iterative development – evolution – that’s how we got here, that’s why modern saloon cars are faster than 1950’s racing cars, that’s why there’s more processing power in my mobile phone than was available across the entire planet in the ’70’s and why I can buy a LapTop PC with a terabyte (or two!) of storage for under £500, and a 49″ flat screen HD TV for under three hundred and fifty quid!  20 years ago I had a 1200bps dial-up connection to the WWW, today I have 18Mbps for £20/month, and I could have 100Mbps if I’m prepared to pay more – that’s progress, evolution.

But imagine putting a car on the road without the braking requirement being delivered, or a house built without windows, or a TV without a power supply.  Furthermore, imagine that when we produce the next iteration of the car, the previous models are all replaced, and the house, they’re all pulled down and rebuilt with windows…

I am not anti-agile, but I am anti-BS, and I am greatly concerned at the vagueness of requirements and acceptance criteria and the lack of adequate sanction for failure, in current systems development.

Agile and Digital and Scrum and various other NewSpeak is just that; BS.  Astonishingly, terms like Just In Time and KanBan have also been hijacked by the BS’ers.

My thoughts on AGILE:

A little while ago I had a little rant about so-called recruitment ‘consultants’ telling me I don’t have enough Digital experience, despite 25+ years in ICT.  To be further insulted by being told I couldn’t run a project without a proper statement of requirements, plan, budget, etc. an Agile Project, after years of designing, planning and delivering ICT / business change projects up to and in excess of £300M, is, quite frankly, astonishing.

The nearest of found to a supportive blog:

I’ve found some great statements of reality – even the Government is facing up to the facts:

And lastly, a real corker: “I can’t take this Agile crap …..

Thanks for reading.

Cheers John

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My thoughts in more detail: