Monday, January 19, 2009

Alistair's top ten ways to know you are not doing agile

I stumbled upon the following not-so-new blog entry by Alistair Cockburn, a nice short list of "bad smells" for lack of agile project management. These days companies are still frequently trying to engage project managers asking for arcane list of certifications which are mostly theoretical and paperwork-oriented. Alistair, who has written one of the best book ever about Use-Cases, instead insists on agile methodologies and expert leadership as the only effective way to deliver projects.

In my experience pragmatism, agility and the ability to deeply dig for real business requirements are the most important factors for successful integration projects. For effective consulting is mandatory to keep open a constant, daily communication link with business experts and project stakeholders, relationships with just customer's technical people almost never provide for the necessary unbiased information.

Too many developers are just trying to experiment with the latest "cool" technologies, only because they want to fill a row in their CV, regardless of the real business needs of their employers. In my experience these days two of the biggest CV-fillers are SOAP Webservices and BPEL, as I rarely see those technologies used properly.
Not that they couldn't be useful, but:

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

SOAP WS and BPEL are the nowadays' hammers.