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Michael became a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) in 2004 and is huge advocate of better (XP) engineering practices since discovering unit testing in 2001. Michael has a B.A.Sc. from University of Toronto in Engineering Science and a M.Sc. from U.B.C. in Computer Science. He has presented at Agile Tour Toronto and the XPToronto/Agile User group on Scrum and XP. His is also an active member of the Agile community and co-organizer of Agile Tour Toronto. Michael lives and works in Toronto, Canada, as an independent Agile and Lean coach, consultant and trainer. Michael is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 90 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Post-Chasm Agile Blues

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Agile has crossed the chasm and things are different over here. Really different. And not so good.

It feels like we have landed at Dieppe (Canadian/British Military WW2 Failure). The bad news is that there is significant failure successfully adopting Agile. The good news is that we can recognize it and learn from it.

Technology Adoption and The Chasm

Michael Moore’s crossing the chasm introduces the notion of phases in technology adoption.

Consider the diagram below:

As a community, we have experienced a lot of success working with Innovators, Early Adpoters. Here we are working with visionaries that have a high tolerance for change and provide strong management support.

The problem is that we are now working with the Early Majority. The recent announcement of PMI certification is pretty strong evidence of entering the early majority.

So what’s the problem? “75% or organizations do not get the benefits they accept.” – Ken Schwaber. These are pragmatists. Their goals are to avoid risk and change as little as possible. They want to buy some off-the-shelf Agile so they can get the benefits, with the least effort. They have heard good things about Agile and want the Agile Tooth Fairy to come in wave a magic wand.

Agile is not an out-of-the-box solution. I don’t there will ever be one, but we can build more around Agile to change the world of work.

We all have a pretty good idea (more or less) what Agile is. The problem is that the whole product is only partly defined by our community. For example, tools that do not scale to Enterprise needs. Some level of agreement about when to use Agile and when not to. Sorry, that I can’t paint a clear picture of what the whole product looks – still figuring this out. (If you have one, let me know).

There are for sure many talented coaches who have something that approaches whole product thinking. We need to do better communicating and growing our ideas around this or we will fail as a community.

Published at DZone with permission of Michael Sahota, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Shumona Kapil replied on Sun, 2012/02/19 - 9:47am

I like this post.

My “2″ cents here is that Agile failure resembles Lean failures, both are system thinking approaches instead of being specific technique. The practitioners and coaches are manipulating the system by shifting attention to techniques instead of the hard part, which is change management.

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