Why do I hate “agile tools”?
When I joined my current place of employment, I learned a new term: Version One (or V1). Take a moment to hear what emotion does that trigger in you. If you don’t know what it is, you probably are a happy human being… ignorance is bliss. Agile tools are just another example of team’s demons.
I don’t mean to blame V1 as a product for anything – Rally and others are just as bad. No offence – they are decent tools, but their usage is just plain bad. And I know it’s not only in my current organization.
The common understanding of agile tools is that they will bring agile to your company. That they will induce the correct mindset, just push the install button …. As a friend of mine once said – “People can go around security system of space shuttles if needed, so how on earth (different expression was used here, but I’m not brave enough to write it here) is a simple online tool supposed to install agile in an organization?” Exactly.
In this whole flashy world of Scrum, XP, Crystal, Version One, Rally, Mingle, Ice Scrum and other brands, we are forgetting about what are they supposed to support. They are not complete products themselves – they are supposed to support values and principles. We are forgetting that there is something inside of the book’s cover. Agile frameworks wouldn’t exist if everyone read The Agile Manifesto only once with understanding!
Think about this – a team starting with Agile, would be trying to find an application for functions available in the tool, usually twisting it without help. A proficient agile team on the other hand would be limited by the tool when bending the rules to inspect and adapt.
The best tool you can give your team is the one they built themselves.