top of page

You may be wondering why is it so hard to achieve true and lasting change when it comes to Agile, DevOps or<<insert favorite brand>> here.  The answer can be found through a combination of archaeology and social science.  Specifically, when one pulls the thread to understand where each of the methodologies that are commonly referred to today originated, one finds some interesting patterns.  All methods were created from a very small set of corporate project experiences by a few individuals, savvy at promotion, and codified in such a way as to enable a training or certification business model to emerge.  Another thing that becomes apparent is that three main branches emerged over the past 50 years or so, and each lineage (Lean, Agile, Iterative/Incremental) grew up in differing contexts with differing constraints or forces that determined efficacy and utility.  The other thing about the chart below not blatantly called out is that each "faction" is at odds with all others - there has been no incentive to collaborate across the industry.

Added to the above fracturing and branching of the methodology landscape are countless bodies of  knowledge (BOKs), each with rather large constituencies, each with highly biased opinions, and more often than not highly specialized world views, Oh and we almost forgot - certification badges to help identify "party" affiliation.  In effect, everyone is competing with everyone and nobody is collaborating.  

It is no wonder that we see the typical "passive aggressive" organization continually attempting to maintain the status quo.  Yielding to any change, regardless of how effective it might be means giving up power or acquiescing to some other faction.  The typical pattern is someone grabs onto the latest brand foisted upon the industry - who knows whether they honestly believe that change will actually stick, or whether it is just a way to kick the can down the road for a time until it too gets filibustered.  The cycle seems to repeat itself every 18 months or so.

The only way to break this vicious cycle and turn it into a virtuous cycle is to break the factions apart - which means breaking the methods, BOKs, frameworks etc. apart.  Effectively stripping everyone of their party affiliation.  Instead, an intelligent constructionist approach identifies practice know-how in smaller increments which have proven to be effective in similar contexts and is adoptable due to small cultural affinity gaps between the as-is norms and the desired to-be theory of effectiveness.   

SDE's Value Stream strategy is the only approach in the industry that can break apart the landscape of practice experience and enable teams to quickly assemble coherent ways-of-working that are dynamic, intelligent and fit-for-purpose.

bottom of page