Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Software Development : Failed to get Agile

I've just been party to a conversation about a project elsewhere in my work place, my team is not involved, I was observing passively (alright, alright, I was ear-wigging).

The conversation was quite heated, one member of staff was adamant things were fine, whilst another was adamant they were inadequate.  The two of them were at complete logger heads. The driver of the conversation ran like this:

"We're not really designing software, we're asking everyone's opinion, writing it all down and only picking the things we really need to do"

As an agile developer this is essentially how I run my team, we write every possible item down, everything and I weight them, schedule them and during out sprint hand-overs we reorg whom is going to tackle diffing parts of the system to share the experience and share different things.

This chap however, was incredulous... He expressed "WRITING EVERYTHING DOWN" as a bad thing... He only wanted to do the things he felt fit, he wanted to sit down and look at the specification, produce an analysis and ONLY do what he suggested.

This would have made perfect sense to be towards the end of my academic study of software development; before the reality struck home in the work place, and I was flabbergasted to hear this chap simply working twenty something years in the past.

I mean, he's old... This company is old... But, not that old surely?

I literally caught myself tipping my head to one side as if trying to pour those words, and the way they were said, back out of my brain.

He didn't stop there though, he sat and without knowing it essentially dismissed as absurd the complete concept of Agile development; at least Agile as I use it...

"You'd be constantly juggling which task to do next, swapping people on and off tasks.... What would you do?  Meet daily, what would be the point?"

I'm not sure whether this was genuine inflexibility or purposefully derailing the effort to adopt agile beyond the scope of my own team, whichever it was, it sounded and felt extremely awkward.

It makes me wonder quite if anyone outside my team actually uses Agile processes around here...

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