Agile is (finally!) taking off! Everyone is using it!
Or are they? Agile is reaching the peak of the hype curve (up next: the Trough of Disappointment). Most of my clients are now using it. Heaven help us.
Agile is better than waterfall in a lot of instances. I’ve read the studies, I am a believer. But it’s not the best in all situations. Organizations that go Agile tend to go 100% Agile. It becomes just as rigid as the 100% waterfall approach.
Aside from this, organizations are abusing Agile to the point where it is not effective. Using Jira is not Agile! Doing daily stand-ups is not Agile! However, most of the abuse is based on the roles in Scrum, the most common Agile methodology.
I’ve never seen a Product Owner who had both the knowledge to be the product owner or the authority to make decisions on behalf of the business. They struggle to analyze or even understand software development decisions and they have to go back to the business for buy-in. They end up being just a middle manager slowing things down.
A knock against Project Managers is they do little to move the project forward. They spend their time doing administrative tasks and planning a future that never comes. Scrum Masters are even worse than this caricature. They rarely have experience that would be valuable in a software project, that is, system/business analysis, development and testing.
Analysts, Developers and Testers
The people doing the work. Projects are successful based on these people. I’ve come to fully appreciate the value of a great analyst. Many organizations get this right – yay!