“It’s a mix of ignoring them [non-Agile managers] & making shit up” #ProductTank How is this consistent w/ Agile values of openness & trust?
There’s a conference-worth of material to unpack from that question. You can make up your own responses, whether cynical, pragmatic, witty or all three. I wasn’t at Product Tank, so I can’t take issue with that in detail (though I would caution readers: I know Tom, and his presentation will have been as much about entertainment as education and information, so take that statement with some amount of salt).
However, regardless of its literal truth about alphagov specifically, there is a truth in there about projects in general: if the idea of agile is used as a trojan horse to allow bad behaviours, then any success will be shortlived. That thing masquerading as agile won’t scale to other teams; it certainly won’t scale to larger projects. Agile might be seen as the success factor in the initial project, but the inevitable failure of future projects will ensure its adoption is halted pretty quickly.
When I manage development teams I see one of my responsibilities as being the angel on the shoulder of those developers, urging them to “do it right” in the face of the project manager who’s urging them to “do it now”. But project managers can be angels, too. Some will be interested only in the success of their own project. And some will want to ensure that good practices are recognised, learned and adopted by others. Unfortunately those two views are sometimes at odds.