I have been distraught at the level of dogmatism, bigotry, contempt, or just plain ignorance that I witness in the agile world. I am not blaming the topnotch agilistas, though they sometimes, and just for effect in writings and presentations, reduce their messages to their essential bones, to the slogan level, and they omit the context—both source and applicability.
As agility is crossing the chasm, however—as you can see if you attend any big software synod such as SD East or West or OOPSLA (Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications)—many more people say (or repeat) rather uninformed messages with a strong conviction and little background, scoffing at anybody who dares to question their claims, even if it’s just a clarification about scope or context.
For writing these words, I’ll be shot dead as a traitor to the agilism cause, a defender of the waterfall church, a dinosaur, the über-curmudgeon, though I do value agility or agile practices in the proper context, and with the tainted glasses of my own 33-plus years of experience. But I would like my friends and colleagues to keep cooler heads, to question assumptions, not assume too much of a common, shared mental model, and contextualize what they hear, read, say, or write.
These are word of experience from Philippe Kruchten. It should be repeated that there is no silver bullet in software development and that many approaches will fail in specific contexts when their essence is not understood, but rather people are just trying to apply some recipes without intelligence and common sense. Every new approach will have its share of zealots that will apply them as strict religious rules. I am a strong believer that the success of software development depends more on adapting existing tools and processes to specific situations and not the contrary.