An Anti -Agile movement has formed, its signature can be found on blog posts and comments across the net, downplaying the value of Agile, criticising aspects of its design. We look to the truth of the criticism found, specifically within the Anti-Agile Manifesto and the Dark Agile Manifesto.
On the face of it, the Anti-Agile Manifesto sounds like a challenge to the Agile Manifesto, however upon further investigation you will find that the website is actually about Scrum. Every one of the Anti-Agile Manifesto points are actually criticisms of the Scrum terminology, not the Agile Manifesto. Terms such as Epics, Stories, Sprints, Stand-ups are all part of a set of terms designed to seperate every day project management terminology from that of Scrum Software Development. For example:-
The author wrote, “epics are really just projects”
- Epics might well be projects, but not just any ordinary project but rather a specific type, – subtype of project. So what separates Scrum projects from any other type of project besides the terminology? Is it that different that it requires its own terminology?
The Anti-Agile Manifasto suggesting that these terms are just marketing speak and have zero value and that there is no difference between Epics and projects.
Firstly Projects come above Epics on the hierarchical tree, an Epic is just part of a project, – so straight away this differentiates them. In fact most of the Scrum terms work in the same way, used to describe different pieces of work, seperating them into smaller manageable pieces based on the time frame it takes to complete each piece. Why? Well, its all about motivation theory and the relationship between motivation and time, essentially its all about how to make the team more productive by creating a sense of urgency. This is also the main purpose of Stand-ups and Time boxing.
The Dark Agile Manifesto is a different beast, two academics investigating Agile development from a software engineering perspective. There is a much reduced role for software engineers in an Agile world simply because Agile places emphasis on Emergent, incremental design over the Waterfall, pre-design role usually assigned to Software Engineers. There are real threats to successful Agile Adoption from a engineering standpoint however highlighted in this article, however – do also read the comments afterwards.
The Gartner Hype Cycle referred to in the Dark Agile Manifesto is not a criticism of Agile at all but rather a compliment to the marketing efforts in the Agile world. Software analysts must see past the hype and evaluate all the available options on the market.
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