Developers Gaming the Agile Process? Say it Ain't So!
Who doesn’t like the affirmation in hearing, “Job well done.” Most of us have experienced receiving salary increases, bonuses, and other forms of reward. These rewards are often tied to meeting or exceeding objectives set for us as individuals, teams, and businesses. Regardless of profession, most businesses recognize and reward individuals based on meeting defined goals. Over time, Ray Elenteny has observed an interesting dynamic where the spirit of Agile can take a back seat to leveraging Agile metrics to evaluate individuals and teams. Evaluation by Agile metrics seems very reasonable, but what happens when these metrics are used as the primary, if not sole, basis on which success is measured? Software developers are smart people. If the primary focus is on how many stories or points were completed in a sprint, and that’s the measure of success, it becomes an easy problem for developers to solve. Game the system to ensure successful metrics. The spirit of Agile is essentially lost. In one form or another, Ray Elenteny has been using and espousing Agile processes in software development since 2001. In this session, Ray will examine this multifaceted challenge discussing why Agile metrics are so important, yet aren’t the focus.Ray has seen the extremes in process when Agile is introduced. Extremes ranging from people stating that no preparation or formal process needs to be done, because “we’re Agile,” to project managers applying rigid structures that make people stop and think if Agile is really any different than waterfall. Hopefully, most businesses don’t find themselves in either of these extremes.
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