January 17, 2011
I like myths and have written on Leadership Myths previoulsy. For our next Calgary APLN Meeting we are hosting an Agile Mythbusters discussion. The idea being to debate some agile myths and through group discussion determine if they are Busted, Confirmed, or Plausible.
Now, likely an APLN audience might have a little bias, since the “A” in APLN stands for "Agile", but I hope that since we have cross posted the invitation to the local PMI group we might even things out.
Through my teaching for the PMI I get to hear many questions and rebuttals to agile’s claims and I think it is good to question benefits and have an honest reality check from time to time. Some of the myths proposed for discussion so far include:
• You cannot accurately estimate agile projects
• Agile methods promote scope creep
• It is very difficult to negotiate contracts for agile work
• Agile projects cannot be tracked with earned value
• Agile projects employ counter intuitive planning practices
• Stage gates don't work for agile projects
• Agile methods avoid accountability
• Agile projects are cheaper
• Without specifications you do not know when you are done
• You would not allow a housing contractor to proceed without a clear plan and estimate, why develop SW this way?
• Agile scales naturally
• Agile teams are happier
• Since empowered teams self-organize and self-select work, the role of the project manager goes away
• Agile methods erode the gains made towards recognizing SW development as a serious engineering discipline
• Agile methods ignore enterprise architecture
• Agile is quicker
Please send me your own agile myths for us to discuss. We will be choosing 5-6 to run through at the meeting. If you are in Calgary on January 26 please join us for the session. Registration details here at the Calgary APLN site.
If you cannot make it in person, I will write up some findings and publish them here later.