Marketing fail redux, the Agile Process edition

I was reading a web-site from a “well know” process person/company in the software field (which will remain unnamed) and found the following quote (names changed to protect the guilty):

XYZ corporation senior management decided that ABC Unified Process is the way for better quality, higher productivity and lower cost.

I can’t begin to describe how many ways such a quote makes my back shiver in disgust, but I can’t resist to share this one.

In the quote the VP of XYZ corporation is endorsing ABC’s unified process, which in ABC’s view is a good thing because that’s what they sell. However, they forget that it is not “senior management” that makes decisions about what process affects “quality”, gives you “productivity and lower cost” and cure cancer, serving coffee and toasts to boot (the ABC’s marketing people will have you believe). It is reality and the market out there that decides what processes work!

Look, dear ABC marketing people: senior management are the worst people to decide on what software processes to use! They haven’t coded for a whiles (if at all) and are probably a lot more worried about sales, revenues, turnover, etc. They don’t know about how the software process helps their workers.

If you want an endorsement for a process go to the Gemba! Ask the people that have to code/test the software products or the tech support staff that has to flee angry mobs when the software craps out on the customer!

Please, please don’t push any more senior management endorsement quotes to software development processes. There’s a lot more that senior management could endorse like, for example, the best off-shore tax evading finance advisor…

One thought on “Marketing fail redux, the Agile Process edition

  1. However, this is exactly the way to sell SW dev processes to more companies.

    When XYZ Corp eventually bogs down and is bought up by PQR & Sons Enterprises, will anyone remember that the ABC deal was the clincher?


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