You have complete knowledge of what the first employee does, which task he’s working on and its deadline while you have absolutely no idea what the other employee does. While the first employee shows progress every few weeks with new release, the other commits to quarterly plan. The first employee give you daily progress report and notify in advance when he’s going to miss a deadline or a feature.
Now imagine that you must fire one of your employees – which would you choose?
Truth be told most managers prefer employees that shows progress and keeps them well informed.
So how can one protect his job – simply by making sure that his manager and managers are aware of the state of the tasks under his responsibility and if a deadline is going to be missed, notify them about it as soon as possible, because no manager loves surprises as far as his project is concerned.
The thing is that all of this and more is part of several agile methodologies. It does not matter if you practice SCRUM, Kanban or Lean notifying your manager and tracking progress is an integral part of the process used.
It also helps that following agile methodologies would guarantee that progress is always seen – one iteration after the other.
And the moral of this story (as you might have guessed) is that the Agile team was not fired and they get to do at least one more iteration.
Just a thought…