Is adaptation a double-edged weapon?
We hear many people saying that adaptation is the key. In agile, adaptation is mandatory, and it seems everyone is comfortable with that. Recently, I wonder if this adaptation premise is harmless or not. I heard many people saying “well… we didn’t do this of Scrum (or other), because it was a necessary adaptation. Our business, A,B, C…”. Even they invented something called ScrumBut, that helps to realize and recall that you are doing some things out of the recommended way of Scrum. Adaptation is necessary, don’t get me wrong, since in this world everything is about that. Of course you need time to implement agile too. Nevertheless, the adaptation premise is an escape for many people who is not willing to fully implement an agile methodology. Many people just don’t have the experience or the, let’s call it vision, for modifying properly an agile methodology at certain point in the development (or even making prior-decisions). They may feel they are implementing agile, but they are implementing a partial agile. Partial agile, usually mixed with other approaches, seems to have way worse results than agile itself. De facto, not de jure. And it would be interesting to compare it with more traditional approaches.
People needs to be well-prepared, no matter how. To have experience in the field and theoretically in a balanced way. They don’t need experience so much as some companies sell or so much university formation as some universities sell too. They need good leaders or teachers wherever they go. I have seen 45 years old people, highly experienced and short headed (nothing against 45 years-old people of course, just an example. Also, the most intereting people are around 45 too hehehe). Same for university.
Whenever you make a change, this change should come as mandatory I would say. Imagine a team decides to avoid to have a customer integrated, since they have difficulties “A,B,C” (I have seen that!). Maybe everything seems easier and results come faster, or other “good” things may arise, but I am sure that it is not possible to measure other more difficult tricky things. What about the abstract-and-difficult-to-measure concept of quality, or implementing the correct thing, or delays due to useless implementations.
I think I read about a guru (I don’t recall who was, damn!) that asked to people -who were working as Scrum Masters or agile “managers” or whatever- “who is implementing agile in their company now?”. They rised their hands, and the guru was asking basic questions related with agile, quite important. He realized almost everyone was not using a real agile approach. I recently realized there is this double-edged effect with the premise of adaptation. If you teach and you explain what adaptation is, make always sure you explain the “psychological” drawbacks of the concept itself. Adaptation is not a blank check. Be careful.