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The Elephants In The Room

One of the originators of RUP and the creator of the 4+1 view modeling approach, Phillippe Kruchten, has written a terrific article on the “twenty elephants in the room” that haunt the agile movement. Here’s a subset of his infamous list that resonates with me:

  1. Commercial interests censoring failures (tell me about the failures).
  2. Failure to dampen negative behaviours (no analysis of failures).
  3. Context and contextual applicability of practices (can you say “safety-critical systems“?)
  4. Anarchism (preventing a more systematic organization of the body of knowledge).
  5. Elitism (blame failure on the “unenlightened” others)
  6. Certification (effective tool to assess maturity for individuals and organization, or commercial ploy from trainers and consultants to rake in the dough?)
  7. Role of architecture and design (they are still often equated to BUFD, and rapidly brushed aside with claims of YAGNI, or “we’ll refactor it later”)
  8. Scaling naïveté (with a bit of imagination all agile practices scale up, and if this does not work it is because you have not tried hard enough).
  9. Technical debt (while agile practices could help control technical debt, they are also often at the root, the cause of massive technical debt).
  10. Effective ways of discovering information without writing source code (uh, can you say “modeling“?).

Of course, because of his involvement in the development of the perceived horrible, heavyweight, RUP process, extreme agilistas will not even listen to Phillippe’s ideas – let alone ponder the validity of any of them.

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