Friday, June 14, 2019

Don't get fooled by Fake Agile

Whichever consultancy sells this model, DO NOT let them anywhere near your IT!

So, I've come across this visual buzzword bingo in three major corporations already, and all of them believe that this is "how to do Agile". And all of them are looking for "Agile Coaches" to help them implement this garbage.

This is still the same old silo thinking that never worked.

There is so much wrong with this model that it would take an entire series of articles to explain.
Long story short: all the heavy buzzwords on this image merely relabel the same old dysfunctional Waterfall. In Bullet points:

  • "Design Thinking" isn't Design Thinking,
  • "Agile" isn't Agile,
  • "DevOps" isn't Devops. and 
  • Product Owners and Scrum Masters aren't, either.

Here is a video resource addressing this model:

I have no idea which consultancy is running around and selling this "Agile Factory Model" to corporations, but here's a piece of advice:
  • If someone is trying to sell you this thing to you as "Agile", do what HR always does: "Thank you very much for coming. We will call you, do not call us ..."
  • If someone within your organization is proposing to implement this model, send them to a Scrum - or preferably LeSS - training!
  • If someone is actually taking steps to "implement" this thing within your organization, put them on a more helpful project. Counting the holes in the ceiling, for example.

If this has just saved you a couple millions in consulting fees, you're welcome.


  1. This is Deloitte's agile model. Easier to sell because it fits with the existing departmental structure. Ive seen it implemented in a government department by Deloitte with waterfall architecture and technical design before the Agile Dev team and then waterfall System Testing, Integration Testing and Acceptance testing before it gets to the DevOps team.A truly horrible model and the reason I wont work for Deloitte.

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      Yes, this model preserves status quo both in terms of structure and problems. Cycle time won't break the 1-month wall, customer and employee satisfaction remains fairly low, cost is high, usefulness of outcomes limited - but at least some consultancy made big bucks.

  2. I recently saw this implemented at a major financial institution. It was a major disaster. I lasted 5 weeks before getting out. Would have got out earlier if I could. I did convince a few others to get out, too, so not a total waste of time.

    1. Sometimes, preventing others from receiving more harm is the best thing one can do.

  3. Yes, seen this several places and struggle to see how it adds value. That is other than allowing someone to tick the agile and DevOps boxes.

  4. If you use an investment appraisal process you have to do some upfront analysis to inform the IA before deciding to proceed, or not. The left hand side stems from that but can bloat depending on the level of detail needed in the IA. Separation between Dev and Ops helps IT departments feel safe. The two are different issue.