Not SCRUM itself is evil but the evildoers are evil. A developer not filing refactoring user stories or a product owner writing detailed technical instructions without discussion are not a proof of failed principle but of misunderstood roles/ responsibilities. Also if a participant of backlog grooming feels like his overwhelming creative force is not necessary is maybe part of the wrong project. Sometimes technical interfaces don’t need as much CSS3 as one might be able to deliver and maybe a 10th login form is technically no rocket science one wants to be part of.
So what is Agile?
The “Agile” fad grew up in web consulting, where it had a certain amount of value: when dealing with finicky clients who don’t know what they want, one typically has to choose between one of two options. The first is to manage the client: get expectations set, charge appropriately for rework, and maintain a relationship of equality rather than submission. The second is to accept client misbehavior (as, say, many graphic designers must) and orient one’s work flow around client-side dysfunction. Programmers tend not to be good at the first option– of managing the client– because it demands too much in the way of social acumen, and the second is appealing to a decision-maker who’s recently been promoted to management and won’t have to do any of the actual work.
There’s a large spectrum of work under the name of “consulting”. There are great consulting firms…
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