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Thomas Hansen
Thomas Hansen

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Agile is (mostly) rubbish

When I hired our first two devs for Aista I asked them the following question; "What is the least amount of process overhead we can get away with?" We agreed upon we needed a ticketing system, mostly to report tasks and bugs, and 15 minutes of standup meetings in the morning. That's everything we do according to "process". We don't have grooming sessions, velocity meetings, we don't assign commits to specific tasks, we don't do sprint meetings, and in fact we don't even have sprints. 95% of our commits are straight to master. My "sprint evaluation process" is doing a git pull at night, QA checking what we did this day, and that's it! In fact, the way we work is (almost) as follows.

We do epic stuff

When we have meetings, we try to reduce the participants to a minimum, to avoid creating noise. We don't have formal sprints, and we sure as hell don't follow any "agile software development model". To understand why is to understand the Mythical Man Month.

One developer can do in one month what two developers can do in two months

A great engineer working for IBM said the above sentence, after having studied what makes software projects succeed, what makes them fail, and why some software projects are slower than others - And his conclusion was the above sentence. Read it once more if you didn't find it contradictory ...

Process overhead is the root of all evil

For a company with 500 employees, obviously having some sort of formal process becomes inevitable. However, for a startup where there's one or maximum two of us working on the same git repository at the same time, adding process overhead simply results in reduced velocity, and adds nothing of value. We even created t-shirts for the whole crew to drive home the point. You can see our wearables at the top of this article.

At Aista we don't have time for superstitious rubbish!

I have worked with software development companies where I had to spend 4 hours in meetings every day. When you're a production worker, obviously spending 4 hours in meetings every day is about as productive as sleeping at home. Facts are, "Agile software development model" has become a joke, and an ironic joke about itself.

There's nothing that's as little "agile" as your average "agile software process"

Forget about Agile, do epic sh*t, period!

Top comments (2)

richarddavenport profile image
Richard Davenport

Ah, sweet, sweet irony. You seem like a smart guy, maybe you've realized by now, but agility is achieved by removing process. By you saying you don't want an agile process has helped you become more... agile.

polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

That irony was never really lost on me for the record ... ;)