Julie A. Foster
Is Agile a Fad?
Is Agile going out of style? The frameworks under the agile umbrella have been around since the early 1990's and every few years a new hotshot Chief of Technology or Project Manager hears it for the very first time and decides it's the new great thing that must be implemented within their company's organization.
I can always tell by the job boards if Agile is trending. When it's popular, there is an influx of scrum master, agile coaches, and product owner jobs. When it fades, the job boards show project managers and business analyst roles and very few agile roles.
How can something that has been proven effective for 31 years be viewed as a fad or "doesn't work". Every time I hear "we tried it, it didn't work for us" my mind immediately travels to a friend of mine who needed to lose weight. She was given a dietary plan by a nutritionist which promised a 20 weight loss if the plan is followed for 30 days.
She told the nutritionist she will absolutely follow the plan! However, when she arrived at home she decided there were parts of the diet she just didn't want to follow. Instead, she followed the parts she liked and disregarded the parts she didn't like. At the end of 30 days, my friend weighed herself and she only lost 5 pounds. She spent the next 3 days telling everyone the diet didn't work. She failed to communicate that there wasn't anything wrong with the plan, it was her lack of adherence that led to the lack of results.
We cannot prove something doesn't work if we don't follow the process. Many think that Agile is the magic potion that will fix their problems, but then they cherry-pick and only use the pieces they like.
Agile is data-driven, collaborative, culture challenging, and empowering. If the principles are applied, and roadblocks removed, Agile will take your organization to new levels.