Jeremy Miller on Agile – the 'hard questions' on Agile

I respect much of what Jeremy Miller writes in his blogs. His post today on ‘Trying to answer hard questions about Agile development‘ is spot on to my current situation.

I think the place this is asked the most, in my opinion, is corporate america size companies. Places where architects are deciding the solutions, CTO’s are in charge of having a methodology passed down, etc… Not that this is bad, but I tend to feel a large amount of them have more control in a RUP or waterfall approach. I doubt many have coded TDD, test-first, stand up meetings with developers and customers, seeing agile unfold and work. Selling it to the developers in my opinion is not the hard sell. Sure, TDD is new to them, they don’t understand it, but I sense once they use it and are expected to use it, the outlook changes.

But outside of the developer perspective, ‘agile’ is probably seen as giving up control, something more corporate america architects and CTO’s aren’t going to adopt very quickly.

We need more project managers/upper management to understand and adopt agile methodologies. Most of the problem to me is lack of understanding or pre-concieved ideas, or better yet… I’ve always done it that way, don’t rock the boat 🙂

This can happen, and there are cases of much success in corporate (non-America in this case) environments – take Fred George from ThoughtWorks discussing how he discovered the lean path. Read this post here on Lean ‘An Agile Management Process’

a manufacturing process borne in Toyota and responsible (IMO) for the current dual dominance of Japanese companies in both automotive production and quality.

I would love to see this in action in a corporation as large as Toyota. Fantastic.

Hopefully successful stories such as these will give rise to a new era and movement away from the traditional waterfall processes 🙂


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