Disclaimer: If you’ve misplaced your sense of humor or too young for colorful language, read my PG-rated travel posts here instead, which might come in handy when you’re planning your next vacation.
So you’re a project or program manager and you’ve lost control of your software development team. You sent them to a few training sessions, agile user groups, conferences and now there’s a mutiny on deck. In fact, the software developers are doing an end-run around you to upper management talking about downgrading your title from manager to coordinator or scrum master. That’s like working your ass off for 4 years in medical school only to be called Mr. Wang instead of Dr. Wang.
Reminiscent of the Revenge of the Nerds movie but this time, it’s the Geeks declaring, “We don’t need no stinkin’ managers!” And they’re not geeks anymore, they’re ninjas! Ninjas practicing mental masturbation katas with videos demonstrating their techniques; presumably while sipping double-douche grande and orgy-ing it up at StarBucks. They’re the masters of of their domain and doing it all. They don’t want to deal with the DBA team anymore because they’re doing it ‘code-first’ nor will they tolerate taking orders from the architects since they will design through tests. Murmuring under their breaths, “Keep the architects the hell away from my team.”
That’s right, they’re self-organized – forming, storming, norming and performing! Things are going to be different because these newly converted Devs to Agile Divas are going to let wisdom and insight ‘emerge’ organically as if sprouting out from a compost pile (all natural of course). Forget experience and tradition, the only thing good is what’s now and what’s next. Everything else is crud! Niagara Falls is great but these agile software divas have no love for waterfalls.
Watch out as they tear down their cubical walls with pneumatic drills and turn your corporate environments into open room playpens where they can chat all day about who’s pissed drunk like Fergie or which creamer is best and the nuance and flavors afforded by which brand of French-press for their gourmet Dunk ’N Donuts coffee.
WTF??! When did all this happen where the help are running the company?
They don’t take their requirements anymore, especially if they’re written because they don’t ‘read’ requirements; presumably because after it’s written, it’s out of date. They want you to tell them stories like little children and it can’t be epics because that’s too much for their attention spans. If you don’t do it, they’ll label you, #FAIL or worse yet #EPICFAIL, in their tweets. And these stories had better be organized into sprints, like little jaunts in the park. These divas have no stamina, are single threaded and preemptive multi-taskers; which is to say, they can only handle one task for a short period of time. Ironically, these agile software divas create systems and software to organize and run the world but they choose to keep their stories and sprints on index cards pinned on corkboards.
And for god’s sakes, never ask them to a ‘meeting’ because they’re too busy doing stuff for meetings. And if a meeting must happen, it had better not be more than 15 minutes and preferably in the morning with everyone standing up in a circle and heads down as if in prayer for a fallen teammate.
Forget about setting timelines ever again. They’re going to tell YOU how long it’ll take. “It’ll ship when it’s ready!” If you try to set deadlines, pathologically it’ll impair their quality and they can’t work under such draconian conditions and philosophical oppression. And never mind on asking them to stay late. It’s not up to you to decide when they need to stay late because that’s micromanaging. It’s up to them because they’re professionals and they’ll decide … which is never!
You don’t like their new in-your-face confrontational style? Tough because they’re replacing tact with candor, subtlety with bluntness and form with fashion. Take it or leave it because they’re hot stuff baby! They’re sensitive sons-of-bitches who can dish it out but can’t take a lick. If you hurt their fr[agile] feelings, they’ll polish up their resumes, incorporate their names, make themselves CEOs and do it their way.
You just got ReWork-ed and are Kung Foo-ed out of luck!
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