Bad Scrum, but Pretty Good RUP

Most metals have a bit of springiness to them. If you want to bend them to a certain shape, you have to bend them further than that. When they spring back a bit, they’ll take the shape you want.

Today, I was looking at a milestone chart for a project transitioning from a serial lifecycle to an Agile one in a large organization. At first, I despaired at the picture it painted. There are Requirements and Design phases for the release, and a “hardening sprint” before release. Don’t get me wrong. Things are much better than they were before the transition started, but there is quite a way to go before this effort reaches what I would call truly Agile.

Then it struck me.

This is one of the best implementations of RUP I’ve ever witnessed. When I’ve seen organizations adopt RUP, they’ve done so in a very document heavy manner, maintaining all of the gate reviews they had before. In shooting for Agile, this organization has already hit a fairly lightweight version of RUP, eliminating a lot of documentation and gate reviews, and shortening the development iterations and release cycle.

Instead of a struggling Agile adoption I now see a successful RUP adoption. And this is just the beginning; perhaps they’ll reach Agile, yet. That’s not a bad state of affairs.


Categories: Responding to Change


4 Replies to “Bad Scrum, but Pretty Good RUP”

  1. IMHO the key thing is that they took a step in a positive direction, not that they were aiming for “agile”. I think they should aim for the sort of organization they want to have, with the capabilities and culture they want, rather than aiming for a popular buzzword.

  2. Ultimately all that matters is do they deliver working software of insanely high quality and delight the customer. If they do a better job today than they did yesterday good for them.

    The real questions:
    – Are they still improving?
    – Do they recognize that they’ve only just started?


  3. Good questions, Mark. In this case, some are, but many have hit a plateau; some do, but many want to think they’ve arrived. They’re still a long way from superlatives, but they are doing a better job today than they did yesterday.

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