Every agile scaling framework in the world

More and more frameworks for scaling “agile” software delivery have been appearing in recent years. The proponents of each are adamant that their framework is superior to the others. Yet, customers have difficulty understanding the differences.

This is because all such frameworks are based on the same general ideas, broadly speaking. Proponents insist there are deep differences because they are all competing for the same customers.

Here is a generalized version of conversations that might occur between a salesperson and a prospect looking for help with scaling “agile” delivery.

Salesperson A: The Release Choo-Choo

Our framework is based on the well-established model of The Little Engine That Could. The scientific underpinnings of the model are not in question. The challenge has been to realize the value of the concept in a practical and scalable way. We, and we alone, have solved that problem.

Software is delivered via the Release Choo-Choo. As features are completed, development teams load their code onto a Release Choo-Choo for delivery to the market.

At the team level, we recommend a process based on Golf. Teams work in iterations called Rounds to deliver valuable software incrementally. In each Round, teams Tee Off, Whack The Ball, and Sink Putts to deliver value early and often. Immature teams tend to curse during the Whack The Ball phase, while mature teams tend to drink more and curse less.

On rare occasions, a Round may have to be canceled. This is called a Mulligan. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Besides, if you don’t like your score, you can just scratch it out and write in any numbers you please.

Here is a process overview:

Step 1: “Hi, Release Choo-Choo! Will you please carry our software to market?”

Step 2: “Why, of course I will! Il est ma raison d’être, n’est-ce pas?”

Step 3: And everyone lived happily ever after.

It’s just that simple. No, really. It’s just that simple. Trust me.

Question:

What if our development team misses a Release Choo-Choo?

Answer:

No problem. It’s just like the magical train system of Europe. If you miss a train, wait a few minutes and another one will soon appear. The trains are always on time and they are always friendly. Just load your software on the next Release Choo-Choo that comes along.

Question:

How does this model scale?

Answer:

Easy. You can have as many Release Choo-Choos as you need. Releases are automatically coordinated because all the Release Choo-Choos arrive at the station at the same time, no matter what.

Question:

But if all the Release Choo-Choos arrive at the station at the same time, how can we avoid a train wreck?

Answer:

That’s the best part. After we sell you the framework, training, and official certifications, you’ll need our Expensive Consulting Services (ECS) to make sense of it all. We’ll be friends for a long, long time! And everyone knows friendship is, like, the best thing ever.

Question:

How does your framework support continual improvement?

Answer:

We have a special Event that takes place at the end of every Release. During the Event, people look back on what went well and what could be improved. Then they congratulate each other, eat some snacks, and throw the information away. We call it the Release Autopsy.

Question:

Can you cite any independent academic studies that prove the Release Choo-Choo is effective?

Answer:

Who needs studies? No matter how many times you read the book, the Little Engine That Could always reaches its goal.

Question:

Can you refer us to customers of your framework who have had positive results?

Answer:

Look at this nifty engineer’s hat! One size fits all! You get one free for every ten people you enroll in our training classes. Woo woo! Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga. Woo Woo!

Salesperson B: The Log Flume Ride

All that Release Choo-Choo nonsense is for children. Anyone who has been awake during any portion of the twenty-first century knows that what organizations really need is continuous flow. Continuous flow is Science. Anyone who disputes that obviously knows nothing about Science. Do you want to admit you know nothing about Science? Right. Didn’t think so.

Our framework is better than theirs because it is based on the scientifically-proven principles of continuous flow. The benefits can be described without recourse to childish nonsense. We call it the Log Flume Ride.

To prove the efficacy of our method, perform a thought experiment. Think back to the last time you visited an amusement park. Which of the attractions demonstrated continuous flow? Was it the Ring Toss game? No. Was it the Tower of Terror? No. Was it the staged Wild West gunfight? No. It was the Log Flume Ride. The flow never stops. It’s called “continuous” because it continues. And it’s flowing because it’s water, and that’s what water does. Behold the power of Science.

Anyone who doesn’t understand Science is not qualified to comment on the value of our framework. We are Science. Are you? Prove you are smart by purchasing our framework now.

Question:

What if continuous flow stops?

Answer:

You obviously don’t understand Science. Purchase our exclusive Accredited Training immediately, before it is too late to save you. Hurry! Unless you are educated soon, you will sink into a persistent vegetative state, mindlessly riding a Release Choo-Choo toward a train wreck.

Question:

How does this model scale?

Answer:

Science.

Question:

We often hear that 10x performance improvement is easy to achieve. Can we combine elements of the Release Choo-Choo and the Log Flume Ride to achieve a 100x performance boost?

Answer:

The Release Choo-Choo and the Log Flume Ride are fundamentally incompatible. If you combine them, you will create a black hole that consumes the Solar System. Do you want that on your conscience?

Question:

We have taken your Accredited Training and we are still facing challenges in delivery. What should we do?

Answer:

You are in need of our Costly Consulting Services (CCS), not to be confused with the competition’s inferior Expensive Consulting Services (ECS). Our services are more costly, but Science teaches us that you get what you pay for, so don’t be a cheap-skate.

Question:

How can we earn certification in the Log Flume Ride?

Answer:

Certification is for people who don’t understand Science, like our competitors and the rubes who buy their framework. We are opposed to certification on scientific grounds. Purchase our Accredited Training instead. Purchase it now. Science.

Question:

How does your framework support continual improvement?

Answer:

To get started on the Log Flume Ride, you diagram your current process and make it visible. This is a critical step. It must be done using our trademarked diagramming technique, which can only be learned through our Accredited Training. The next step is to leave all job titles and responsibilities unchanged, leave your organizational and team structure the same, and continue doing things in the same way as you have always done them. The crucial difference is that now everything you do will be labeled with our trademarked buzzwords, which can only be learned through our Accredited Training.

Eventually, through the use of complicated mathematical formulae, improvement will occur. But you should not expect instantaneous improvement. Our customers have learned that improvements begin to manifest shortly after the end of our CCS engagement, which is designed to last exactly as long as your budget. If you do not achieve 10x improvement through this process, it can only be because you are not Science enough. It isn’t our fault. No refunds.

Question:

Can you cite any independent academic studies that prove the Log Flume Ride is effective?

Answer:

Every independent academic study that we have funded has found the Log Flume Ride is unequivocally effective. All other studies used questionable research methods. We are Science.

Question:

Can you refer us to customers of your framework who have had positive results?

Answer:

There is no need to depend on unreliable eyewitness accounts from people with faulty memories and a poor understanding of Science. We can show you mathematical formulae that combine unrelated, arcane subdisciplines of statistics, economics, hydraulics, and quantum mechanics in a way that is incomprehensible to stupid people. That way, you will be compelled to pretend you understand the mathematical proofs, for fear of ridicule from your peers.

 

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