Does Agile Have a Dirty Little Secret?

“Most of the project management methodologies utilized today evolved from the processes used in developing the assembly lines of the early industrial revolution…That being said, you might be interested to know that next to accounting software, project management software is the oldest software product. It’s been around, in a very similar form to what it is now, for a very long time.” – Ty Kiisel

So what is the dirty little secret of project management?

“The dirty little secret of project management is that after all these years of software development, the tools have become so complicated that end users don’t use them.” – Ty Kiisel

I was talking with a colleague who is a PMP and an outspoken individual last year at a conference. He asked me a simple question and then answered it himself:

“You know what is a racket? The PMI (Project Management Institute).”

I asked him why that was.

“You have an entire industry: certification, consulting, seminars, conferences like this (the one we were at), software products, and so-called experts… whose entire career and industry revolves around the Gantt chart, and outdated and worthless construct when it comes to software development.”

While I do not agree with his statements, it does make you think, doesn’t it? Sounds to me like Ty and my colleague need to get together and collude to fix the project management conundrum.

But this got me thinking. Does Agile have a dirty little secret? Are we making Agile more and more complicated over time? Is it time to come back to the basics of the Agile Manifesto 1.0? Agile Manifesto 2.0? Agile Manifesto 2.1?

The Agile industry has just as much as the PMI: certification, consulting, seminars, conferences, software products, books, experts, etc. Have we gone too far? Have we monetized Agile beyond it’s original intent? Has the brand been tarnished? Has it lost it’s luster and new-car smell? 10 years later, have we improved because of Agile?

  • What do you think about my colleague’s comment?
  • What do you think about where Agile is today?

[HT: PMHut]