Valérian de Thézan de Gaussan · Data Engineering for process-heavy organizations

The bold truth about agile in IT projects

The IT project management world suffers the same issues as the climate.

Do you know about Agile-washing?

Let’s say you are a highly polluting company. You can repaint all your trucks green with little eco-friendly slogans, but it won’t change anything; you will still pollute just as much.

That’s green-washing.

It is the same in IT projects. You can use all the “Agile” bullshit you want (hello #SAFe), but as long as you don’t change the fundamentals, your project will remain crappy.

That’s Agile-washing.

Agility is about uncovering better ways of developing software. It turns out that with experience, we found that it is better to focus on:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

It doesn’t mean that having a plan is bad, or having process is detrimental. It just means that there is more value when we focus on the four items on the left.

Depending on your industry, on your vertical, on your organization structure or your client type, you will have to adapt.

That’s it. That’s all what agility is about. Source

Now, in an increasing fashion over the last 20 years, lots of bullshit have been built on top of this word, making it unrecognizable from the original meaning.

“Agile-methodology” vendors want to favor processes and tools, long contract negotiations over detailed plans in exchange of a very expensive fee. They’re anti-agility in practice, yet still sell themselves as The-agile-way-to-run-your-it-projects. They simply apply Agile-washing over old-style project management jargon.

You want to be as far as possible from these people and run these project with the values that I have listed above. That’s it. You’ll get increased value from your team. And it’s free.

If you feel like your project hasn’t been moving to the right pace and feels more and more clunky, contact me.