As a kid, christmas was extreme magic.
Every year again, while there was a big scrum under the christmas tree, i’ve wondered how Santa’s capable to serve all kids in a single night.
Looking back, there seems to be only one conclusion: it’s crystal clear – Santa’s a real agile dude. In fact, it seems that he’s a Master in clearing impressive, huge backlogs and indeed knows what a real sprint is …
But take a detailed look behind the facade – there are some signs that Santa might not be that agile guy he seems to be at first sight …
Biased planning game
When it comes to the specification of your ‘requirements’, there is no equitable planning game. It’s even impossible to arrange the most needed features with Santa himself.
Instead you have to speak to his Requirements Management team, namely your parents. It’s rather a planning poker than a game, where you always get the short end of the stick.
Cumbersome response to changes
Most of time it’s impossible to change requirements. Once you’ve appointed the needed features, you can’t change them anymore. Requirements Management most of time say that’s to late for changes because all desired features are under (big upfront) design now.
Ok, you can put your new requirements to the backlog, but the next iteration will last a full year!
No Customer collaboration
There’s no real collaboration or interaction with Santa during implementation of your requirements. Instead he abandonbs the world and resides at North Pole, where he won’t receive any visitors.
When it comes to direct face-to-face conversation (funnily enough, you only meet him at a mart or a market, but never at work), he answers all your questions with a meaningless ‘Ho Ho Ho’ – not really a domain specific language that’s oriented on the customers vocabular.
Red, Green, Refactor ?
We all like Santas red frock and a nicely decorated green Christmas tree, so red and green seems to be favored colors. But there are no signs that tests or specifications will drive Santa’s development, we only can speculate about that, since he always plans alone as the one and only …
Master Chief Designer
Santa’s the Boss! There isn’t a self-organizing team that will cooperate in order to find the best solution. Ok, there are his helping elfes and reindeers, but all’s controlled and planned by Santa. It’s hard to believe that development is centered around motiviated individuals under that circumstances (ever wondered about Rudolfs red nose?).
Keep it stupid and simple
If Santa would care about keeping things stupid and simple than why does he always step down the the chimney when using the back door is so much easier?
Finally, it seems that Santa is a friend of good old waterfall model. All phases are successive planned and implemented. It all ends with a big bang at Christmas Eve, so you have no chance to see a constantly growing big picture before that date.
After all, there are enough signs, showing that Santa isn’t really agile.
But you know what – i never mind in his case. That’s because every Christmas iteration is more than receiving some required artifacts.
It’s the joy of being together with your loved ones.
It’s the joy of seeing the light in the eyes of your kids, feeling the spirit of Santa.
It’s the time were you can leave IT and software development behind, coming back next year with new motivation and fresh zest for action.
In this Spirit
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you!