You will probably all be aware of the phenomenon of green-washing, that is, all the aesthetic measures taken by companies that perhaps sell oil mixed with baby seals, but want to look “green”. Similarly, there are companies that do pink-washing, and they want to look very "woman-friendly", even if they only hire from the bra cup D onwards.
Well. Then you have remained one step away. Because now there are two other types of washing. The first is that of digital washing.
Digital washing is done by large companies that have the mentality of a Triassic Vogon (for the uninitiated, as homo sapiens evolved from the monkey, the vogon evolved from the bureaucrat, especially much more stupid), but they want to make the shareholders happy, who like to hear that the "digital transformation" is underway.
Now, if you have the Triassic Vogon mentality, how do you implement the “digital transformation”? Is simple. Before, to have access to a network you had to fill out a paper document, have someone sign it and then send the request to an office.
Now you will have to download a PDF (not editable), fill it out using any image editor, put a signature scanned by you, and send it back, to people who have also bought a document management system specifically to manage this digital waste .
Why does such an absurd thing happen? Because someone thinks that going digital is something you do , not something you are . Consequently, the same processes are held, but paper is not used. What is the difference between sending a question on stamped paper in triple copy to three offices, and sending an e-mail with an excel to three addresses? On the technological level, there has been a digitization of the tool , but not of the process .
I see this happening in all banks and insurance companies, but also in telcos and catering companies. And all the colleagues I speak to confirm to me that the phenomenon of digital washing is international, if not global.
Digital washing works like this on average:
- casual friday is introduced. Desktop computers are replaced with as many laptops, which will remain on the desk connected to 3 monitors and a docking station. But employees are forced to bring PCs to meetings. In this way, the corridors are filled with people with their shirts out of their trousers, walking around with their laptops under their arms. Now that smartworking is in place, Bob Marley's guitars and posters are hung on the wall before entering the call.
- you buy a documents management system and digitize (paying an external company) all the paper documentation, and all the forms. No corresponding systems / app / API / whatever are created to take the place of the paper. No, we go from cellulose paper to bit paper. WOW. Scanning done with the scanner: scanned = scanned. Fantastic.
- catastrophically abuses whatever a videoconference is, wasting bandwidth for the sole purpose of sharing people's faces, the wall of the room, Some managers think they are witty with katanas hanging on the wall and I've also seen a punching bag. Interesting. Just yesterday I witnessed the show of a guy's girlfriend who comes out of the shower with only a "short" towel on and crosses the room. (Fortunately no one applauded. But there was to applaud .).
- The offices are filled with unlikely jewels, among which various inflatable animals stand out, cubes with the letters above, books on Corba 2.6 that nobody reads from the cetacean (thank goodness: who Corba also kills your project), gives employees a collection of meaningless sticker, and when the elderly accountant close to retirement turns around with a laptop that says “my other computer is your computer” , then as if by magic the company is digital.
And so the West is filling up with companies where people go, one day a week, to the company with their shirt off, a useless laptop full of stickers completely unrelated to the work they do, pretend youthful enthusiasm in front of an oracle database, or they stay at home, defeating gangs with conferences that don't need video, in a room specially set up to be very diggital, cats attracted to the table by tons of cat food (to simulate the delicious incident), and girlfriends who weren't you are notified of the turned on camera.
So a large portion of the clientele is made up of customers who do not want to go digital (managers say that their employees would not understand the technology. The same ones to whom they have given skull stickers and hacker writings), but by customers who want seem digital. They come to visit our headquarters, they look at how we dress, how we talk, what our offices are like, and they ask us to teach them to be equal. If we sent an interior architect and a fashion designer to them it would be the same thing, and I am convinced that many managers see us exactly the same way.
But now something even worse has arisen, because the shareholders are convinced that they have understood everything. It's like after Godzilla devastated Tokyo for good, you also sent him naked Sandra Milo who went on Bukkake Porn (no, there is no “unread” button in this blog. Too late).
This thing is called "Agile-Working".
First you need a series of insane people who call themselves “agile coaches”. You can avoid hours and hours of useless "training" simply by challenging them. Like.
- Beautiful this methodology, which assumes that the interdependencies between features grow in a linear fashion, and that everything can be improved in the future. What do you do if you have to create a product like a car, knowing that you CANNOT change a part after building it?
- For the record, entire “from scratch” fighter-bombers have been created with Agile.
- No. It takes 20 to 25 years of research to create a fighter-bomber from scratch. Nobody starts from scratch. You tell me the name of the bomber, so let's see how many years ago the design started?
- I don't remember the model, but I know that there are also hospitals that are fully managed with Agile Scrum and they save 200% of lives. People come out younger.
- No. Hospital protocols are among the most regulated at the state and legal level. No hospital has ever been run this way.
- I don't know how to give you the details, but nuclear power plants and airports in Cimbandia Ulther are also managed with Agile.
- No. Airports and their procedures are in turn governed by entire international agreements and overseen by appropriate entities, and nuclear power plants need decades of design. There was no Agile when those things were designed.
At that point the Agile Coach will classify you as “waterfall addicted” and “agile-hostile”, and will ask that you no longer go to training.
This does not mean that Agile is wrong per se. There are certainly niche sectors where it works very well, just like DevOps. But these are niche sectors, with very particular specifications and mainly software products.
But if the problem were the Agile / Scrum methodology, we would also be in luck. But the companies we are talking about are made up of extremely territorial departments, not accustomed to accountable to anyone for what they do, where employees do not want to explain what they do at work, where the unions FORBID the velocity graphs, and the scores on the user stories they are assigned according to a criterion that I would define “fibonacci mitigated by a 'hysterical chimpanzee”.
So I can't even guarantee that the whole problem comes from the pile of bitches that have been recycled as “Agile Coach”. In my opinion Agile / Scrum could have some positive aspects, but the problem is that immediately all the managers ask to “adapt it to what was there before”.
And so you are:
- User stories assigned to the special user "Team".
- Sprint of "abstract", "elastic", "unpredictable" duration and the most recent is "überraschend", like "come on, surprise me".
- Scores assigned not for difficulty or complexity or otherwise, but for “visibility to management”, or “urgency”, “seniority” or “competence”. In short, the older ones give more points for doing the same thing, and so on. I also saw "relative difficulty", it means that the idiot gets more points because for him it is more difficult. Some have mapped milestones like Epic, others have decided that if a sprint implements a milestone then it has no less than 85 points to distribute to user stories, even if it's things like "pick your nose". (34 points! He found the nostrils on his face! Hurray !!).
- Scrum Master. The scrum master is nothing more than the PM of the past, only he teaches the team to "self-organize". The teaching in question consists of telling the team that they are all seniors (even when they are 13 years old with 20 years of experience) and therefore do not have to tell him / her what to do. After two weeks the teaching ends and the scrum master does only reporting, too bad that the "agile tools" already do it. Then he has to officiate idiotic ceremonies like the "retrospective", the "scrum poker", and other things that are not necessary but serve to fill the bulletin board with people who know very well what to do and how to do it, but need to play poker.
- Agile hidden boards. To prevent other teams from seeing what your team is doing, companies with “territorial” teams make sure that no data can be filtered, except from the highest management. Only the "superior" management can see it. So you open a "technical debt" (which is a bug but sounds better) to someone, but you will never be able to see what happens to the "ticket". A special template will make it disappear after being compiled. Obviously on the ticket it is written that it is the fault of whoever opened it. In any case, those who opened it do not know they are lost behind them.
Once Agile / Scrum is implemented in this way, the CTO and CEO testify to shareholders that the company has adopted agile methodologies (they have installed Confluence and Jira) and that it is now more productive, but only in five years' time, when the transformation will be over, they will know how much more productive they will be.
In reality, the company looks like a Curling tournament between gorillas on acid, productivity is not measurable due to the bizarre assignments to the US, the design of the Epic seems like the customer's dream book, ("and then the system configure it yourself "," and then there is the self-healing unit "," and then we use artificial intelligence to determine the quality of the code "), but everyone spends the day in front of a bulletin board that it is very reminiscent of fridge magnets: I have not yet seen the postcards from Formentera (here for a long time Palma de Mallorca), but in my opinion it's only a matter of time.
But shareholders like to think that the frenzy and confusion are “agile”. And the lira rears up.
These two are the trends that are bringing the horror to IT: now the money only flows from us, so the phony parasites of all the other sectors are concentrating here. The rule is simple:
- If you can't do shit, you're a Scrum Master.
- If you can't do shit but are witty, be an Agile Coach.
- If you can't do shit but aren't witty, you can always take care of doing the PO.
In fact, none of these companies will exist in five years, or at most ten if they have the legislator on their side. They are doomed to the wrong culture, culture they don't want to change. They believe that the changes underway are not structural, they are not cultural, but only technological. They are dead walking.
This inadequacy to the current world is the real problem that the real economy will have to face, because at the end of the accounts with the hoax the shareholders deceive us, but not the customers .
And as far as I can see, in 5-10 years, many will close . Throughout Europe.
Others will take their place.