Richard Bucker

Agile Anti Patterns

Posted at — May 24, 2012

When you’ve been around the park as many times as I have you can get a little ambivalent about the direction you take whether it’s clockwise or counter-clockwise. And while I reject the formal nature of Agile, Scrum, KanBan, ScrumBan there is some value and there are also some traps.So today I’m starting my anti-pattern list and I hope you’ll contribute.() You never read the Agile Manifesto.() You never read the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto.I only know two of the names on the list of 17 original signatories. Andrew Hunt and Dave Thomas. These guys are fantastic programmers and now publishers. If you assume that they have 60 years experience between them, 30 each, that might be 510 years experience in just those 17; and so there is some wisdom in the original documentation.Each of us is on a journey through life, but few, if any of us are on the exact same journey. –Rabbi Norman Lipson() The wisdom of the group or team. The implementation of Agile has become team centric in team rooms instead of offices. All you have to do is read Herding Cats and study ergonomics + human peripheral vision  to know why this is a bad idea. What is the point of a team room when (a) members put on noise canceling headphones to drown out the sounds of their peers or (b) when people try to get your attention by waving their hands wildly in order to catch your attention. Team rooms have their place but not exception or the rule. The team is meant to support the individual as the individual is meant to support the team.I interviewed at Microsoft in the late 1980’s. In those days everyone had a window office to themselves (look at the shape of the campus buildings) and everyone had a door. When the door was close the rule was “honor the closed door”. In early 2000 I had a neighbor who recently relocated from Seattle. The new rule was “don’t close your door”.() Complete Agile adoption. I’m not sure I even know what that means. Project managers who are dedicated to their craft the way that programmers or other skilled individuals are will always endeavor to learn more and expand their personal and professional growth. Agile has already grown from the principles and the manifesto into something akin to 7-habits. Except that Agile is no longer a 12 step program.(*) Gaming the system. I’m certain a social psychologist could make their career on this topic. Anyone who says it does not happen in the workplace is either lying, naive, or a fool. We all strive to get more for and with  less.Your anti-patterns are welcome!