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Are agile scrums an outdated idea?
Here's a video on YouTube making the case for why agile was an innovative methodology when it was first introduced 20 years ago.
However, he argues these days, daily scrums are a waste of time, and many organisations would be better off automating their reporting processes, giving teams more autonomy, and letting people get on with their work:
A few of my thoughts.
First, it's worth noting that many organisations that claim to be "agile" aren't, and many that claim to use agile processes don't.
Just as a refresher, here's the key values and principles from the agile manifesto: http://agilemanifesto.org/
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Your workplace isn't agile if your team is micromanaged from above; if you have a kanban board filled with planning, documentation, and reporting tasks; if your organisation is driven by processes and procedures; if you don't have autonomous cross-functional teams.
Yet in many "agile" organisations, I've noticed that the basic principles of agile are ignored, and what you have is micromanagement through scrums and kanban boards.
And especially outside software development teams, agile tends to just be a hollow buzzword. (I once met a manager at a conference who talked up how agile his business was, and didn't believe me when I said agile was originally a software development methodology — one he revealed he wasn't following the principles of.)
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