Robert Melton's Writings

Unfucking Agile: A No-Bullshit Guide to Getting Shit Done

Alright, folks, let’s cut through the crap. We’ve spent enough time bitching about the sorry state of modern Agile. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to unfuck this mess.

First off, let’s get one thing straight: there is no silver bullet. No magical methodology or framework that’s going to solve all our problems. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make some serious progress by focusing on a few key principles.

  1. Embrace the Kanban, my friends. Use a good old-fashioned board to visually track your work and slap some hard limits on work-in-progress (WIP). This isn’t rocket science, but it works wonders for keeping everyone focused and preventing the dreaded “thrashing” that kills productivity. When everyone can see exactly what’s on their plate, it’s a lot harder to get bogged down in bullshit.

  2. Ditch the daily standup circle-jerk. Seriously, if I have to hear one more “yesterday I did this, today I’ll do that” update, I’m going to lose my mind. Instead, trust your team to be adults and update their status on the board regularly. If you really need to pow-wow, call a standup. But don’t make it a daily ritual just for the sake of “Agile theater.”

  3. Cut out the middlemen and let your developers talk directly to your customers. No more playing “telephone” through layers of business analysts and project managers. The folks building the software need to hear feedback straight from the horse’s mouth. It’s the only way to ensure everyone’s on the same page and building the right thing.

  4. Managers, get off your asses and have some real 1-on-1s with your developers. And I’m not talking about filling out some bullshit “employee engagement survey.” I mean actually sitting down, face-to-face, and discussing blockers, challenges, and career growth. This is the stuff that really matters, and you can’t outsource it to a tool.

  5. Stop measuring success by meaningless metrics like velocity. Nobody gives a shit how many points you racked up in JIRA. The only thing that matters is the actual outcomes you deliver. Are you solving real problems for your users and your business? That’s the yardstick you should be using.

  6. Make your meetings mean something. Every gathering should have a clear purpose and goal. And when that goal is achieved, end the damn meeting. Whether it takes 5 minutes or 2 hours, when you’re done, you’re done. No more wasting time just because it’s on the calendar.

This isn’t about blindly following some rigid process. It’s about putting people first, delivering working software, collaborating with customers, and adapting to change. You know, all those things the Agile Manifesto originally preached before it got bastardized by consultants and tool vendors.

Is this a perfect solution? Hell no. There’s no such thing. But by combining strong leadership, passionate teams, close partnerships with users, and a willingness to adapt, we can achieve some pretty incredible things.

So let’s stop whining about how Agile has lost its way and start doing something about it. Let’s get back to the roots of what made Agile great in the first place: valuing people over process, and getting shit done.

It’s time to unfuck Agile, one team at a time. Who’s with me?