Andrew said last December
Another Anti-Agile Gripe « The Wandering Glitch 2
the ‘agile’ ethos promotes a mentality that actively avoids solving problems ahead of time. That leads to short-termism that ultimately bakes bugs into the code!
I really wanted to say something about this as the time but real life overtook me so here and now is my contribution to the never ending discussion of 'Agile' vs. 'Waterfall'. First some obvious things:
Agile attempts delays decisions as late as possible. In my experience this is potentially a "good thing". I have lost count of the number of times, after a project has been moved to support, there has been general and widespread condemnation of the technical decisions made by the original team. Of course when you do ask the original team they say that the decision was made in the context of what was known at the time and if they did it over again then it would be a different decision.
In addition the requirements and environment in which the system operates change all the time, so the criteria on which the decision was made no longer apply.
One of Agile's potential benefits is that is seeks to reduce the cost of change and make it as constant as possible during the life of the project -- this is a worthy gaol no matter what methodology is followed.
Agile also recognises that a) we learn more as the project progresses and b) everything else changes around us. The approach is to delay decisions that can be reasonably delayed and to approach development with a process that makes change as cheap as possible.
The process that Andrew describes of avoiding the solving of problems that need to be fixed is not one I recognise. In fact I find myself, when doing re-factoring, thinking ahead to solving problems before they occur. So Andrew and I must be on different planets, which is strange considering we live in the same Melbourne suburb :-).
I have limited experience of Agile and I have only used it in a few projects, however I have worn the hats of Agile developer, designer and manager. Agile has given me more choices during my projects and made my work more enjoyable, so that to me seems all positive. I intent to do more of it where and when I consider it appropriate.
- Anything done badly, including Agile, will fail
- There is no one size fits all. The correct approach is the one tailored to the produce the needed result given the requirements, team skills, politics and resource constraints
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