In a recent conversation I had with one of my friends, he mentioned something which caught my attention.
Like old colleagues usually do, we were discussing office. Being in the software development industry for a little more that 11 years and being bombarded from every possible side about 'we need to learn from our mistakes', I am surprised to see how most teams are still struggling with building quality and meeting deadlines.
The more people I speak to, the more I hear about Agile and how its not working for them. A few who understand the problems are point out that what is being followed is 'fragile' and not 'agile'.
One of the truths which must be accepted is that estimation is just that, it is an approximation. Yet teams are held at gun point to deliver on these 'approximate' timelines. Its quite funny to see two months being spent estimating a project which actually takes 8 to 12 months to execute by a team of 8 with almost half the team helping in this effort.
A lot of managers want to get over this estimation-paralysis yet don't. Why? Its because of the
company culture. Any place which gives too much emphasis on accountability is ultimately
creating fear which in turn leads people working only to cover their ass. The focus is then only
on meeting commitments with minimum quality and nothing more. Of course, estimations being
estimation don't actually work out. The end result is politics, distrust, overly self-protective
attitude, zero risk taking and total loss of morale.
The part which got my attention was when he mentioned that what we discussed is exactly like the Hindu concept of 'samsara' i.e. continuous birth and death. I completely agree.