Well, according to Brian Lucas, this isn’t quite a unique situation. He provides a list of “impossibles” including no direct connection via social media to “real” customers, CIOs who feel that agile is just a fad, and business system analysts who want to be anything but quick to come to a decision. Life as an agile practitioner isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible!
Lucas bounces off the list to then show the positives of the “impossible”, admitting where agile is weak and where it is unique as well. For instance, one of the impossibles are “users who are unable to understand their own needs let alone articulate them”. His response is the following:
Agile does have weak spots. Shocked? Well the incredible pressure and emphasis it put on the user is the main one. I have worked with far too many users in my career who are unable to understand their own needs let alone articulate them to someone else. First training shouldn’t all be addressed to IS/IT personnel. The user, executive sponsor, scrum master and everyone else on the project have to be part of the training. Second if the user doesn’t have the knowledge in the area you are developing in and cannot reach into the user community at large to get it; call in a subject matter expert.
This humorous and poignant post goes through each arguement as to why agile isn’t a viable solution and then points out exaclty how it can be – explaining how executive buy in, team member adoption and making sure that the customer support group is fully trained on the products they service (meaning that they are part of the agile development look in regards to training on new features and functions).