Today’s organizations seem to be at a loss when it comes to understand where to go in regards to their development efforts. In line with my last post, It’s Magic, executives and decision makers are trying to hold-on to an idea which does not work in a Software Development context, Predictibility.
I know what you are thinking, there are two sides to every story and you would be right. For too long, IT has been very much unhelpful in providing answers to what hails them and now, organizations somehow are trying to hold on to this concept that Agile will solve their problem. As much as I would like to say that only decision makers are to blame, I mostly lean towards pointing the finger @ us, Software Professionals!
Now here is an interesting word “Professional” and I attribute most of the issues with development efforts being tied to that very word. You will notice that Scrum.org’s motto is “Improving the Profession of Software Development” and I must say that it is at the core of every initiative.
In all our Scrum Master classes we ask this question: “How is the Product Backlog Transparent?”. Naturally, there are many answers to this question and at its heart lies Professionalism. Being Transparent implies that a Team is Professional enough to enlighten stakeholders and all others involved of the complexities of building a Software Product. That being said, it is also true that since developing such complex products is unpredictable, we cannot with good conscience Garantee the creative work undertaken by Development Teams. Too many times I have seen Teams and service providers tell potential customers that they can give them what they want given the clients terms. One question you may ask yourself is, Is it Professional to boost/buffer work efforts with some mysterious rule (I still have not come across some magical mathematical formula that does this) in order to feel confident enough to Garantee work?
The fundamental reason why Scrum works is because it is an Empirical Process which implies that we accept that we might be wrong about something and strive to provide answers by adapting ourselves to ever changing conditions.