I soon realized that the project was overstaffed and most people were pretending to work. And I also realized that was the job I was hired to do; my job was to pretend. If this had been the only time this ever happened to me, I would consider it an anomaly. Unfortunately, this has been the case with almost every tech job I’ve had for years
The principles behind agile software development are commendable and much more suitable for the job than old-school ideas. So, many organizations have strived to “be agile.” However, they’ve done so by adopting agile “recipes,” which are step-by-step guidelines that are supposed to make a team agile. The most famous one is scrum. The adoption of a recipe results in a box-ticking exercise that makes companies believe they become agile just by strictly abiding by a set of inflexible rules. The effect is the opposite.
Questioning the agile recipe is seen as heresy. For example, I once suggested that I wasn’t sure all the recurring meetings to catch up were the best use of our time. I was told, “Well, in this company we enjoy teamwork. Don’t you?”
they’d blindly created the team and started the development of the product because it seemed trendy. When I inquired further, an upper manager told me, “We have decided not to speak with users; we will first build the product we think is right for them and see what they think.” He called it a “fail fast approach,” but I thought it was a “fail for sure” approach. Imagine the level of motivation and productivity in this team.