AAM: Ahem… We have discovered better ways of developing software…
TRW: Glad to hear it because you guys have seriously sucked at it up until this point.
AAM: Don’t you want to know how we did it?
TRW: Not interested, I’m assuming it’s a bunch of pie in the sky theoretical namby pamby that you’ve never tried. Certainly not on me, The Real World™
AAM: Well actually, it’s entirely based on experiential learning. Empiricism. We’ve discovered these better ways through doing it and helping others do it.
TRW: Blah blah blah Empire Racism you say? Edgy. But which bit of not interested did you not understand? Get to the part where you can finally tell me exactly what I’m going to get and exactly when I’m going to get it.
AAM: Well, about that. You see, this “better way” relies fundamentally on not answering those particular questions.
TRW: You have to be kidding me.
AAM: Instead we’ve got some much better questions for you to ask instead.
TRW: Steady on there. This was about you being less rubbish at your job. I thought you said you had discovered better ways of developing software through theoretical namby pamby?
AAM: We have! It relies almost entirely on Business People and Developers working together daily.
TRW: Say what now?
AAM: What you need to do is value customer collaboration, hire motivated people and then trust in self organising teams to get the job done.
TRW: Which part of “what am I going to get and when am I going to get it” did you not understand?
AAM: Ah about that. We’ve decided that’s better to respond to change than to follow the plan.
TRW: Like hell it is.
AAM: No, seriously. It’s for the customers competitive advantage! Even late in development.
TRW: DO NOT USE the term “late” and “in development” with me ever again.
AAM: But our highest priority is early and continuous delivery of valuable…
TRW: Finally something I can use. So you’re saying that you’ll deliver everything I want early from now on, using this “Agile”? Excellent.
AAM: That’s not quite what that means, if you’ll let me finish… the principle is “early and continuous“, you only get the early part because we don’t deliver all of it. It’s our highest priority I’ll have you know!
TRW: All I heard was early. And I’m finally beginning to like you, so I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that last part about not delivering it all. If I was you, I might think about shutting up right about now before I change my mind and call that RUP guy back and subscribe to his newsletter.
AAM: But you’ve missed the parts about technical excellence, sustainable pace and the fact that processes are nothing but empty promises filled with lies!
TRW: Ooooo processes, gotta get me some of them. Whatcha got there cutie?
AAM: Well since you asked so nicely… But you will remember that it’s the people that do the work not the process won’t you?
TRW: Yeah yeah, people great. Process bad. Mung Beans even better. Got it. Whatcha got?
AAM: I’ve got an estimation system that looks like mystical ritual using a scientific looking number sequence, a daily meeting format that will make your office space looking like meerkat colony and some ambiguous concepts around the term commitment.
AAM: Can we at least meet face to face to finalise the deal? We believe it’s the most effective…
TRW: No, I want it all in writing and I’m also sending you off shore. It’s cheaper. Also lay of the believing for bit, and focus more on the doing. People are going to think you’re some kind of nutter.
AAM: So much for maximising the work not done…
TRW: Seems pretty simple to me. I got a shiny new toy and everything is still your fault. Win. Now get back to work!
AAM: But the retrospective!
TRW: Can wait. You’ve got real work to do. Didn’t you just say that your highest priority was early delivery?
You are still f’ing brilliant, man.
Q: “what am I going to get and when am I going to get it?”
A: well, sir, we could amputate your leg on March 15th, for $$$, or we could cure you, but it would require your collaboration, lots of adjustments along the way and, at the moment, it is not clear when it will be finished.
When SW development is over, it turns into manufacturing, and from that point on, it is predictable.