The Agile-Scrum Software Development Methodology Repeats History
by Jeffrey Sward

The Agile-Scrum software development methodology has certainly achieved cult status. My theory is that common misunderstandings and/or wishful thinking causes developers to believe incorrectly that with agile-scrum they can code without regard to analysis or design or documentation. Since many developers prefer to do only coding, these misconceptions enhance the appeal.

Of course, agile-scrum does not intend to ignore requirements; it just renames them as "stories" with matching technical write-ups. Scrum is waterfall, but with a shorter cycle.

The perceptual difference with agile-scrum compared previous methodologies is only the degree of cult status. Every generation or so creates some methodology to replace the previous methodologies. For example, rapid application development (RAD) was sandwiched between agile and waterfall.

Every new methodology is introduced with claims which describe the attributes of all previous methodologies as terrible mistakes. The brand new methodology inevitably claims to solve all development issues in perpetuity. The replacement for agile-scrum will claim every attribute of agile-scrum is a terrible mistake.

All development methodologies condense down to figuring out what (requirements) and how (design) before beginning construction.

Development methodologies are ultimately project management with additional technical features. For example, pure project management (without technology) as described by PMI-PMBOK boils down to the same phases as waterfall. Waterfall phases boil down to figuring out what and how before construction.

Project management itself is the world's third oldest profession, invented by the ancient Egyptians when they were building pyramids.

Or as Ecclesiastes would say:

Vanity of vanities. All is vanity. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.


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