“Within SEI, there were (probably still are) two factions. I heard (just hearsay) that two principals at SEI approached two of the Agile Manifesto signatories to wish them luck shortly after the manifesto was made public. Apparently they had carried the same intentions in founding the SEI, but were compromised when the suits showed up.”
I have no idea whether this specific story is true or not, but I wouldn’t be the least surprised, because this is something that seems to be happening all the time. It’s probably a part of How Things Are. Something new starts growing, and as attempts are made to describe and spread that new thing, it gradually changes from being new to being something stale and overly simplified. In fact, the very things needed to spread that new thing are the same things that prevent it from staying fresh. So the new things dies – or rather transmutes into a new form. Gradually, the pressure builds for some other new thing to emerge, and eventually it does. When the changes are great, the transitions are painful.
So what can you do? I’ll tell you what I will do. I will keep checking my value compass, and if it shows me running off into the wild as I blindly follow my practice map, I’ll trust my compass over my map.
David concludes, in the comments to the post:
“I’ll serve spaghetti with sourkraut if I’m hungry and that’s what’s in the pantry. This because whenever a method gets embraced ideologically, whatever the method, the result is exactly the same. Mindfulness replaced by certainty. Thoughtfulness replaced by enforcement. Degrees of freedom transformed into degrees of imprisonment.”
– – –
Why not read a little tonight?
- The Blind Men and the Elephant: Mastering Project Work
- Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully
- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
- General Principles of Systems Design
- The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
- Beating the System: Using Creativity to Outsmart Bureaucracies (“Surprise or the unexpected is the bête noire of the typical bureaucrat and others whose sole purpose is to guard and defend to the metaphorical death the status quo. Their modus operandi is unidimensional, namely, the usual and conventional ways of doing things; deviation or variation in any fashion is to be fought against, even when the deviation makes matters better. Surprise, then, is the Achilles’ heel of the bureaucrat.”)
Tobias! Thanks for the plug. Fascinating subject. I am learning to appreciate the settlers and even the bureaucrats, but I’m also learning to be wary of anyone claiming to be a pioneers while wearing a starched shirt and tie. david
David! Thanks for stopping by here. It is a fascinating subject – and thank you for writing about it.
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