Cargo Cult Agile
This was originally published at Scrum Alliance on 10th December 2009. The complete article can be found here
We have been saying "there are no silver bullets" over and over again. But do we really believe that? In some ways, it is like the disclaimer we add to the end our e-mails. Nobody reads it, but the legal department makes us put it there. Aren’t we (the IT industry) treating Agile like yet another silver bullet? Everyone wants to "adopt" it! Everyone wants to say that we are Agile! It is becoming more like a "Cargo Cult" (See Notes 1).
During World War II, materials such as food, clothing, and tents were airdropped to equip the soldiers and the natives in the Pacific Islands. At the end of the war, the soldiers went home and the air cargo stopped coming, but by then the natives were used to the airdropped materials. Soon, they dressed as ground controllers, wearing carved wooden headsets and waving landing signals in the hopes that these activities would attract those cargo planes. More