Methodology

 
The rest of us have all known that Agile Methodologies are stupid, by application of any of the following well-known laws of marketing:

– anything that calls itself a “Methodology” is stupid, on general principle.
– anything that requires “evangelists” and offers seminars, exists soley for the purpose of making money.
– anything that never mentions any competition or alternatives is dubiously self-serving.
– anything that does diagrams with hand-wavy math is stupid, on general principle.

And by “stupid”, I mean it’s “incredibly brilliant marketing targeted at stupid people.”

http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2006/09/good-agile-bad-agile_27.html

This was pretty much the view of Agile a couple of years ago, and though progress has been made, the general experience has been that it will fail, unless there is cross-project adoption and involvement. Another quote from same article held my eye more though …

Scrums are the most dangerous phase in rugby, since a collapse or improper engage can lead to a front row player damaging or even breaking his neck.
Wikipedia

Re-iterating the above diatribe really, but in amore succinct fashion. Weak links can bring a project crashinh down round your ears, but that does not worry me – the benefit of Agile/SCRUM environments is that weak links are identified a lot quick. You just hoope there is management with balls enough to remove then, or the quote will still apply.

Firstly I wish we could all agree another word apart from “methodology” – it is an overlong cumbersome word, that people like me (with slight problem with “th” sound) find a pointless annoyance. Secondly, I wish that project managers wouldnt latch on to methodologies (I can write it, I just dont like saying it) as the holy grail of project success. And thirdly, to remove the large gap in all new methodologies with testing, defined a “activity” rather than “resource” (© Andrei B), i.e. anyone can do it who is available. A no-brainer, but what would happen to other areas of the project with same philosophy? A tester has an outside and unbiased view. You wouldn’t accept an author review of their own book (even if they were being terribly post-modern, and writing a bad review). So why on earth leave development in sole charge of testing, or product managers with unrealistic deadlines, or anyone in fact who will not approach testing in the same structured way. All project memebers have their own agenda on what they expect to see – a Project Manager is looking for a pretty completion on MS Project, the developer is looking to move on to their next piece of code, a product manager is just waiting for a finished product that matches the list of requirement. A tester looks at all sides, and also primarily looks for faults and points of weakness, not to verify code (now that testing is a developers job).

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