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The recent CP news article (2019-08-06) 'why-agile-often-fails-no-agreed-metrics' [^] has a similar sentiment but claims that at least some do manage (or maybe that's that they started out right and held the course).
It also shows that getting the right metrics is hard if they are to reflect the organisation's goals rather than the technical folk's ideas of 'goals'.
I think the real take away from this is it isn't agile that is failing, it is that large hierarchical organizations are a failed structure. Break out your team, do agile development somewhere else and bring the result back to the organization.
large hierarchical organizations are a failed structure.
I agree. People in general often believe (or say) that they want to buy their products from large companies so they get the benefits that the large ($$$) company can provide (service, repairs, etc).
However, if you ask a person questions like the following then no one says, "Oh, yes, I'd love to be involved with a large company."
1. Would you like to interact with a large doctor's group where you are literally known by an ID number and you get assigned to a different doctor who has your records every time?
2. Would you like to have an insurance company that is so enormous that it takes 3 hours to get them on the phone?
3. Would you like to go to a grocery store that is so large that you have to ride in a motorized vehicle to get from one aisle to another?
Break out your team, do agile development somewhere else and bring the result back to the organization.
Right! Agile is for producing a product. The rest of the company can do the other administrative things as a large organization, but the development team needs only the people that are specifying, building, testing, (etc.) the product (a Self-organizing team will arise).
I love the Agile Manifesto, but most organizations are not capable of "getting it"
I like your assessment because it "keeps it simple" and I think that is a big part of the Agile process, keep it simple and focused on delivering product. Whatever helps do that, keep. Whatever doesn't, throw it out.
It's "non-technical" project managers / leaders that are incapable of "leading" because they are non-technical in the first place ... creating a project that is being led by nobody ... while everybody hopes that everything will work out in the end because "someone" must be in charge ... somewhere.
The idea that "you are as good as the people working for you" only works if you can tell the difference between those that can and those that are simply posers. Most can't tell the difference because they don't know what questions to ask.
The Master said, 'Am I indeed possessed of knowledge? I am not knowing. But if a mean person, who appears quite empty-like, ask anything of me, I set it forth from one end to the other, and exhaust it.'
― Confucian Analects