Because they unshackle development teams from heavyweight, risk-averse, plan-drenched, control-obsessed processes promoted by little PWCE Hitlers and they increase the degrees of freedom available to development teams, agile methods and mindsets are clearly appealing to the nerds in the trenches. However, in product domains that require the development of safety-critical, real-time systems composed of custom software AND custom hardware components, the risk of agile failure is much greater than traditional IT system development – from which “agile” was born. Thus, a boatload of questions come to mind and my head starts to hurt when I think of the org-wide social issues associated with attempting to apply agile methods in this foreign context:
Will the Quality Assurance and Configuration Management specialty groups, whose whole identity is invested in approving a myriad of documents through complicated submittal protocols and policing compliance to existing heavyweight policies/processes/procedures become fearful obstructionists because of their reduced importance?
Will penny-watching, untrusting executives who are used to scrutinizing planned-vs-actual schedules and costs in massive Microsoft Project and Excel files via EVM (Earned Value Management) feel a loss of importance and control?
Will rigorously trained, PMI-indoctrinated project managers feel marginalized by new, radically different roles like “Scrum Master“?
Note: I have not read the oxymoronic-titled “Integrating CMMI and Agile Development” book yet. If anyone has, does it address these ever so important, deep seated, social issues? Besides successes, does it present any case studies in failure?
… there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer makes enemies of all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order… – Niccolo Machiavelli