Ravi Mohan's Blog

Thursday, December 01, 2005

How Agile Dies

Bill Caputo writes

Perhaps the Agile of today -- represented by things like the Microsoft TDD article, the attempts by many consulting firms to make Agile a methodology (instead of set of principles like it used to be), and the increasing adoption of "Agile" by big IT -- deserves this criticism, but the Agile movement I remember held their observation as a premise.

*That* agile movement seems to already be dying out, but its echoes might still carry the message (if not recognize the messengers)

When you see people offering to "enable" half wit teams for outrageous amounts of money, and "agile" becomes another merketdroid buzzword on the same level as 'ISO 9000 certified' or 'CMM Level 5', you know you'd better call for a priest to administer the last rites.

Many companies in Bangalore are eagerly "developing an agile practice", which (but of course!) goes hand in hand with ISO 9000/CMM Level X /Whatever other BS 'methodologies' are already in place.

One of my friends, who works in 'Big IT', recently responded to "So what do you do?" with "I work in Organized Crime. I am part of an international syndicate that cons businessmen out of insane amounts of money and delivers little value in return".



Anonymous said...

LOL! Hilarious! Mediocrity rules!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ravi,

I blogged recently about "Saving Agile" - and what you and Bill Caputo have to say about the problem resonated with me.

One out of every 10 projects that I see in my firm today are about process improvement in some large antiquated organization and almost all of them involve making these dynosaurs "Agile"...


Your comments/views on my post would be highly appreciated...

Ravi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ravi said...


When I last saw you , you were leaving for Carnegie Mellon ! How time flies!

As for your post, I agree totally. (with most of your other posts as well).
I guess the one key difference in our way of thinking is that since I don't work for a consulting company anymore, I don't really care if Agile is hijacked by fools and made into a methodology and sold in bright bottles to unwary passers by. It just makes the 'true' practitioners more effective.Bill Caputo makes ths point very well in
this post.

I would have loved to comment on your blog, but commenting requires registration and I am too lazy to go through the registration process.(I assume that you are running the same software behind Amit Rathore's site- I don't comment there either though I'd like to,sometimes).

As Paul Graham says in his Web 2.0 essay (Ask Amit to read this :-) ) "Never make users register, unless you need to in order to store something for them."

I have just added your blog to my feed reader. You make some very very valid points.

Aparna Menon said...


I thoroughly enjoy your posts. Happened to come across your blog recently and spend a good time going through most of the posts in the archives as well.

And yes, as I am fortunate to be one among the 50K members of one of India’s biggest IT firms and hence I can perfectly understand your stand toward the innumerous ‘quality control’ processes. Ironically they contain and curtail the quality through those processes!!

BTW, I hope you remember that we have met some time in the long past 