Help with an article?
Esther Schindler <esther <at> bitranch.com>
2013-05-13 04:27:36 GMT
Howdy, folks. I'm working on an article for ITWorld.com, and I'd like your input.
The working title is: Why your users hate Agile software development.
Despite the challenging headline -- hey, we have to attract people's attention here -- I am not against
Agile. Quite to the contrary. But I do want to see it done WELL and RIGHT and to the benefit of all concerned.
My premise in this article is: Agile developers and project managers should have some insight into why
Agile causes anxiety and what they can do to minimize that.
Most developers I know really like Agile. There are a lot of advantages, and I doubt we need to go into what
Clients and users, however, may not appreciate all those things. They have their own concerns -- and
sometimes Agile developers don't recognize them.
It isn't always the user's fault. Sometimes the users have a _perception_ of a problem that they blame on
Agile... for good reasons. For example, I've spoken with corporate users who kept trying to shoe-horn
more and more functionality into an initial iteration. That sounds like they didn't grok what
"iteration" meant, when in reality it was a response to their own corporate culture: They knew full well
that the funding would go away after the "first phase," with excuses like, "We'll do that in phase 2, next
spring," when reality taught them that phase 2 never never does get funded. The developers are moved onto
some other project and the users never get that must-have requirement EVER.
Another reason that the users might hate agile: The developers talk to the wrong users. They interview the
department managers, who might care about things like reporting, but the developers never have the
opportunity to talk to the day-to-day users who might have reasonable requests to improve the data entry
process. To those users, "Agile" is just another way to ignore their needs while claiming that the process
is to serve them.
And those are just off the top of my head.