Readings into Agile Heresy

This is just sort of a collection of readings I picked up digging through the internet for other critiques of the Grand Agile Orthodoxy.

I could easily have seen myself writing this if I had the gumption and was pressed into an Agile orthodoxy earlier in my career (and I were a better writer of prose). The sentiments are well expressed by the writer and sympathetically felt by me. The fact that is quotes Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta (not the movie, but the source material), is just icing.

Agile Is The New Waterfall.

This next “one” is really a set of blog entries that appears to have gone dormant, but the thought in the posts is pretty good, even if the writer appears to be more a disillusioned believer rather than a deep guerilla warrior opposed to the Orthodoxy. Maybe he’s gone in deep cover over the past 7 years.

The best is probably the New New Agile Manifesto in there (though a bit curt), though the Howto: post on creating a new (but popular) Agile is smirk worthy.

Post Agilist

Waterfall is an apocryphal “methodology” (if you hadn’t realized it). You can find other people who have traced it back (more or less) to a paper in the 1970, as the following semi-agnostic agile apologist points out. (Yes, I am probably not doing the author justice in pigeon-holing his position, but a holy war needs holy words; and rhetorical hyperbole aside, I don’t hold crazy ideas against anyone unless they drop them in my lap).

Agile or waterfall? Please rephrase your question. (

This post hits some of my better buttons and is a lot more recent than some of these other readings. The point the author makes about measuring and optimizing rightly notes that if you want to measure something, that’s what you will tend to optimize. The writer also defines “impact”, which if I translate as “value” makes it easy for me to read further into.

If you want to optimize for value, be careful you don’t measure progress against something else. Time and materials can be accounted for, but their relative “impact” of the materials or features or whatever doesn’t translate into the value of the resultant product or feature-set.

Value is hard to measure in a rationalized way. It can be compared amongst alternatives (this more valuable than that), and dependency constrained (must have, or only valuable if…); but translating a unit of time from a variable number of working contributors into components of what made something valuable is a fool’s quest.

Anti-Agile. How Agile Methodology Destroys Products | by Henry Latham | UX Planet

This singular post is raw in its feeling and filled with sentiments that most people who experience the Orthodoxy nowadays would be well to suppress themselves.

Anti Agile (

I haven’t the time to read this all the way before including it. But he cites Fred Brooks, and the overall flow as I skimmed it seems to align with my thought patterns. In other words, the writer’s thoughts appear well-organized.

Agile as Trauma — Dorian Taylor

This next is older and may be considered highly inflammatory (by some strong adherents or defenders of the faith). It gets a little deep into paranoia territory territory, which if you think there is a cabal of Agilist Cardinals, might make some sense. If you look for the simpler explanation that the type of sociological control described has been practiced in the open by many groups for quite some time, it is likely that not that they open sociology texts and decide to try out some things to gain or maintain control.

It is a bit jarring, but if you feel yourself being edged into things you cannot control or really avoid, the paranoia factor here might be just your thing.

anti-agile | Agile is totalitarianism (

Author: sageikosa

Ikosa Framework Author

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