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Feb 5, 2013
Portland Area .NET Users Group (PADNUG) - Scrum is Dumb
Intel Hawthorn Farms 3 (HF3) Campus

Scrum is Dumb, or: How I Learned to Stop Burning Down and Love Agile (Part III of the "Agile Sucks" saga)

Bringing Agile into an organization is never a good idea. It is disruptive, complicated, and very expensive. It brings organizational dysfunction to the surface and shines a bright light on business practices that sabotage teams and fail to deliver value to clients. Further, unwitting teams may adopt a version of Agile that becomes dogmatic, inflexible, and interested in perpetuating the "process” of Agile rather than being, well, agile. The only thing worse than bringing Agile in, is trying to get Agile right.

The Agile Manifesto outlined some very specific guidelines for understanding the values underlying Agile:

Individuals and interactions...
...over processes and tools
Working software...
...over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration...
...over contract negotiation
Responding to change...
...over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

For the most part, the "Left Brain" of the Agile Manifesto remains aspirational at best. It is interesting to note then that the overwhelming majority of software development projects have chose a "Right Brain" form of Agile, and invariably have chosen Scrum, the most process-and-tool-heavy system to deliver "Agility." Further, a reflection on the adoption of Agile leads to the unpalatable conclusion that Agile has been co-opted by "Scrum, Inc." Instead of focusing on Individuals and Interactions, Scrum, Inc. would have Agile practitioners believe that software development efforts, and can be reduced to users stories, task lists, and burn-down charts packaged in SBaaS (Silver Bullet as a Service).

The goal of this presentation is to untangle Agile from Scrum and to define a process that will re-align software development projects back on the "Left Side" of the Agile Manifesto and provide a framework for establishing a qualitative analysis and cost savings analysis for a "Left Brain" approach to Agility.

That said, everyone should be using Agile. This presentation will explore ways to bring Agile into an organization, how to choose the right "flavor” of Agile, and what to do when it goes badly – because it will. This presentation will also examine how to expand the Agile conversation from within the software development team, outward to internal stakeholders, and eventually into client engagements.

WHERE: Intel Hawthorne Farms 3 (HF3) 5200 NE Elam Young Pkwy Hillsboro, OR 97124 Map:

WHEN: Tuesday 02/05/2013 6:00 p.m. Pizza 6:30 p.m. Presentation ~8:30 p.m. After Words at BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse

As usual, thanks go out to our Premium Sponsors that help make these meetings possible:

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