The end of the year is upon us and, like most, I have begun to reflect on the year that was 2015. It was a great year for me both personally and professionally. Earlier this year I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to help build an Agile practice and continue my work as an Agile coach. As I looked back on 2015 I could not help but notice the really big news in the world of Agile was the concept of scaling. There has been a proliferation of scaling frameworks. Time will tell which, if any, will be beneficial, but it did get me to wondering if maybe there wasn’t room for just one more.
What follows is a satirical press release for the newest of Agile scaling frameworks. My purpose was not to offend or disparage, but to amuse. My apologies if I missed the mark. I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!
“Wagerfall” – A New Way to Scale Agile
Agile Scaling Society announced today a new framework for scaling Agile called “Wagerfall”. This new lightweight framework trumps all others in an increasingly crowded field for the ease of its implementation.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (PR FILE) DECEMBER 30, 2015
You might be familiar with Agile scaling frameworks like SAFe, DAD, LeSS and the like and today a new scaling framework has joined the list, Wagerfall. Wagerfall is the brainchild of Steven Anderson of the Agile Scaling Society. According to Anderson, Wagerfall is different in that it represents the easiest of all the scaling frameworks.
“The beauty of Wagerfall is in its simplicity. The framework is nothing more than the name Wagerfall because the name explains it all. You start with your current waterfall and sprinkle in a little agile somewhere in the middle. The “g” in the middle is for represents the Agile part,” asserts Anderson. When asked why not the “ag” for agile, Anderson mumbled something about it not being mandatory and holy wars.
The announcement today also coincided with another press release detailing Wagerfall certification. In the spirit of lean and reduction of waste, the Agile Scaling Society has done away with any mandatory training or testing to get certification. “Why go to the trouble of pulling someone out of their job for two days?,” asks Anderson. “Send us your money and we will send you a lovely (and very fancy) certificate you can hang on your wall and you too can say that you are Wagerfall certified. Doesn’t it make sense if your company is not going to change anyway?” When asked why certification cost so much, Anderson replied, “science has taught us the more money we invest in something, the more value we place on it.”
There are already a great number of clients joining the ranks of Wagerfall. Donald Love, CIO of Great Big Company, credits Anderson and Wagerfall for their successful Agile transformation. “I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to work with Wagerfall. We transitioned to Agile immediately without the messy process of organization change, with all the training and thinking that comes with it. I can now check this one off my list and get my big fat bonus.”
It is not just the C-suite that has fallen in love with Wagerfall; the frontline workers have embraced it as well. Vijay Patel, a software developer, credits Wagerfall with allowing him to go about his business as he always done. “We’ve tried other Agile transitions, and I believed in them. I put myself out there and honestly tried to change. When the truth surfaced and us developers found out it was just lip service, we were crushed. Our morale is still low under Wagerfall, but we know Wagerfall is just lip service, so we got that going for us.”
In addition to the framework and the certifications, Anderson has a cadre of Wagerfall coaches. Anderson states, “The problem with most Agile coaches is that they are either not competent or too earnest. Wagerfall deals with these two problems head on. Since there is no recognizable change, competency is not an issue. Furthermore, our coaches provide a patina of credibility without pestering people to change their existing behavior. We often refer to what we do as ‘homeopathic agile.’”
While other scaling frameworks have detailed flowcharts, organizational structure documents, etc., Wagerfall avoids such complexities. Mindy Minter, Head Architect at Great Big Company, praises Wagerfall for its simplicity. “We are big believers in the KISS principle. You can’t get more KISS than Wagerfall. Pay your fee. Get your certification. Claim you’re Agile.”
According to Anderson, perhaps the most valuable aspect of Wagerfall is in the ability to roll back should the transition not work out as planned. “Just imagine, run a global search and replace on all your process documentation. Voilà. Wagerfall is turned back to Waterfall and you can go about your business as if nothing ever changed.”
About Agile Scaling Society
The Agile Scaling Society, headquartered in New York (to give it legitimacy), was founded on the belief that most companies want to be Agile without the hard work of actually changing their culture, philosophy or business processes. They provide certifications, training and coaching to allow companies to claim to be Agile while operating exactly as they always have. They claim that literally hundreds of major companies are currently following the Wagerfall framework and are in litigation with many of them for infringing on their trademarked Wagerfall process.
About Steven Anderson
Steven Anderson has been described as a “jack of all trades” with experience in selling homeopathic medicine, street preaching and HVAC. While new to Agile, he recognized the opportunity to make money and has embraced it. He once owned a PC and wrote some excel macros. He has parlayed this experience into a successful consulting company and has recently founded the Agile Scaling Society.