Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Agile and The Emperor's New Clothes

Have you ever wondered if someone is jumping on the Agile bandwagon, or the buzzword bandwagon?

When you hear a comment like "I can't tell you what it will cost because we're using Agile techniques," then it's time to be suspicious.

Agile doesn't replace planning and estimation but there can be a tendancy to use a buzzword for the sake of it, or to avoid/divert attention.

Using buzzwords in this way (whether it's Agile or something else) is akin to the story of the Emperor's New Clothes - someone is trying to dazzle you with buzzwords/terminology in the hope of avoiding further questions.

Buzzwords & the right terminology are good and useful, but they carry with them the same weight of all our day to day communication.

Now, business buzzwords - they sometimes are used to either impress, appear superior or just to amuse.... (see 50 office-speak phrases you love to hate).

I almost winced when I was being encouraged to pick or look for "low hanging fruit" in a workshop earlier in the year....

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