Tymoteusz Motylewski

Aug 25, 2022

3 Ways To Make Any Manager Hate Agile, Get Poor Quality, And Be Over Budget And Time

"We're already 3 years into agile transformation in our bank, and I hate it"

Said a friend of mine who has over 15 years of experience in managing software projects in different corporations. He complained that now even simple projects take 2 times longer than they used to...

Based on this and similar conversations I have curated a list of the bests ways for a company to make its employee hate agile.

1. Take a random set of procedures and call it an "Agile transformation"

The best way to make it work is to take a well-known, big consulting company to prepare and implement their branded agile framework in your corporation.

Make sure the framework diagram is big as a wall, and that the development team will never ever see or talk to an end-user.

2. Use Agile methods for things they were never designed for

Ignore (or fire) anybody who says that Agile is not the right tool for everything and that it's best for custom development, where discovery process experimentation is important.

Make sure your help desk, operations, and SLA teams start planning all tasks 2 weeks ahead.

3. "Carefully" select the Product Owner

This one is tricky, even if the first two ways were in place, a wrong Product Owner can still make value out of the chaos.

The ideal PO to make everybody hate agile needs to:

  • have no sense of ownership,

  • be a classic "forward manager" and push every email he gets from any of the stakeholders directly to the team, (the more stakeholders try to force their agenda onto the team the faster they will hate agile),

  • have no idea how to asses the business value the team delivers in a given task or iteration,

  • and as result can't evaluate business ideas and set priorities for backlog items,

  • never negotiate task scope, nor agree to compromises to limit custom development,

  • has a "bike-shading tasks" first policy.

Use these 3 methods and make your entire crew hate agile in no time!

Tymoteusz Motylewski

Founder and CTO of Macopedia - a 100% bootstrapped web agency. Writing about e-commerce, challenges of digital transformation, and software development.