Monday, June 21, 2010

I have a workshop and a bridge to sell you...come on by

Corporate Clown
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: herval

I got an advertisement for a workshop about how to develop SaaS products. The title was, "Silly Agility--The Myth of the SaaS Agile Product Manager". Here is some of the text of the advertisement:

"XP was an attempt to replace waterfall development approaches with something new...[References a generic project]...objectively analyzed, [this project] was a failure; after five years the product wasn't completed and the development effort was terminated."

My first though is that this is a sensational advertisement to get bodies in the door of a poorly conceived of workshop. My second thought is that this is damaging to the career of person advertising it. Factually speaking: When the Agile principals were defined, it wasn't an exercise in creating newness for its own sake. Another objection, is that a "Agile" project that drags on and on then finally fails isn't using Agile principals in the first place. If its going to fail, it should fail fast rather than crew through a budget until the end. They don't understand Agile principals and shouldn't be talking about them in a talk they expect somebody to spend $200 on. I worry about the presenter's financial future though. My personal experience is that I have never met, or read about, a product manager disliking Agile once they tried it - unless that PM is more focused on the manager portion of their title than the product part. Who is going to come to this talk? I don't expect these to be people who are taking the industry in new directions. I think this a talk for people who are keeping the status quo. Statically these aren't the most successful people and not good clients to count your future on. Enjoy your echo chamber.

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