Sunday, March 05, 2017

There is no such thing called "Agile Testing" - Part II

My slides of ATDAsia keynote on this topic are here

Here are few key points that I have developed since part 1 of this topic.

1. The problem with current "Agile" is it is stuck and dying its death - in rituals and ceremonies. So called consultants and experts of "Agile" - appear to be pushing rituals and ceremonies without explaining the context and meanings behind them. I find it is very surprising to see people feel proud about following rituals in this rationalist, objective Engineering discipline.  Do not you find this term "rituals" as unacceptable in our field of software that stands as epitome of human knowledge ?

What happens when you do not know the reason and purpose behind a ritual and simply follow it? One - you will apply it wrongly or apply it (the ritual) correctly to wrong situations. When you do something as best practice - you forget the context in which the practice worked and how same or different is your context. The aura of best practice and cult of expert - just blurs your thinking and you get hypnotized. That's where problems start in Agile implementation.

2. There are many good practices in Agile - sorry -  practices that have emerged from the kitchen (not factory) of Agile. These are excellent examples of how smart people have solved the problems in their context. If you understand the context and how problem/solution aligned to the context - you have fair chance of learning, customizing and using the practice to your context. I find practices like lean documentation, dev/test pairing, continuous integration, focus on delivering working software, emphasis on right distribution of automation across technology layers - as good and worth studying. If you start asking - best practice, best tool, best framework, you will miss the background and end up in applying a practice wrongly.

3. Most agree on one thing about Agile - "culture". If you want to make Agile work in your context, you need a cultural change regardless of what is your current culture. This may sound counter intuitive - but it is true. For Agile to work you need culture change.

Here is my prophecy about Agile and Culture - "The culture change you are seeking for Agile to work IS NOT GOING HAPPEN". What is the basis for prophecy? I think culture is made up of people working in groups following rituals while setting aside mostly -  rationality. Humans are lazy, unpredictable, fearful, greedy. Humans want to make profits continuously through software. While not fully understanding "intelligence" - humans have set their eyes on "artificial" intelligence as future. Human for problems in culture - seek solutions in processes, frameworks and tools.

If you want Agile to succeed - take these problematic humans out of equation - with them goes need for this trouble of changing culture. Can you ?

What do you think let me know