I’ve always thought that for all that Agile got right, it almost got the same amount wrong. And most of what it got wrong had to do how it distanced the client from the project team.
Remember that although Agile was promoting co-located teams, the clients certainly had a different status than the other members of the project team. I’m still amazed that the Scrum segregation of clients and team members into chickens and pigs is tolerated. The basic premise is that although the clients are interested in ‘breakfast’ they aren’t as committed as the ‘pigs’. This of course is ridiculous and in many projects the clients have more on the line than the development team. But the most disappointing thing is that Agile seemed to inherently promote a hierarchy. Even outside of Scrum, Agile still seemed to confuse who defines value and the project team typically over steps their bounds and decide for the client. For example, the No Estimates movement deems Estimates a waste repeatedly although the only people who can determine what is waste are the clients.
Much of this can be tied up in Semantics. The terms of Client, Customer, Business User – all separate.
It wasn’t until we were talking terminology in a more traditional project structure that we decided there was a much more appropriate term:
Colleague – ‘A person with whom one works in a profession or business.’
Or even better, from the Latin collega or ‘partner in office’. Finally a term that does not imply a hierarchy and instills the promise of a partnership working toward a common goal. All colleagues working to create the highest quality solution to a problem.
Colleagues delivering frequently to minimize Inventory and shorten Feedback Loops.
Now that is Agile.