Why in the future Agile will not be needed

Published on November 10, 2018

Why in the future Agile will not be needed

    Let us imagine how the management of production processes in a society of a real democracy would be realized, that is, in an era when everyone will not only have access to all declared civil rights, but will also be a legitimate co-owner of the means of production, which guarantees their true independence.

    Our civilization is already at the level of development when production is global, global in nature. Its character is now largely determined by transnational corporations.

    In fact, modern global companies have large voluntary associations of people who work for one specific goal (we are not talking about issues of labor exploitation, but simply consider the activities within companies as such). For example, the company Sbertech makes programs so that they can be used in the work of Sberbank, as well as for customers who need to interact with Sberbank.


    Here and Ilyich in his work "The State and the Revolution" observes:

    “One witty German Social Democrat of the seventies of the last century called the post an example of a socialist economy. This is very true. Now mail is a household organized according to the type of state-capitalist monopoly. Imperialism is gradually turning all trusts into organizations of this type. Above the "simple" workers who are inundated with work and are starving, here stands the same bourgeois bureaucracy. But the mechanism of public ownership here is ready. To overthrow the capitalists, break the resistance of these exploiters with an iron hand, break the bureaucratic machine of the modern state — and before us is a highly technically equipped mechanism freed from the “parasite” that the united workers themselves can use, hiring technicians, supervisors, accountants, paying for work all of them

    By the way, why did I mention Sbertech? This company is known for deliberately, parading tries to preach the ideology of the development in the style of Agile. They even have an “Agile home” installation in the lobby of an office building on Kutuzovsky. German Gref, the head of the entire Sberbank, constantly preaches new, fashionable ways of running a business.

    Let's take a quick look at what Agile is and why it won't be useful to us in the future.


    The essence of the Agile approach can be understood from the Manifesto, which was issued in 2001:

    Agile manifest points
    1) Наивысшим приоритетом является удовлетворение потребностей заказчика, благодаря регулярной и ранней поставке ценного программного обеспечения.

    2) Изменение требований приветствуется, даже на поздних стадиях разработки.

    3) Работающий продукт следует выпускать как можно чаще, с периодичностью от пары недель до пары месяцев.

    4) На протяжении всего проекта разработчики и представители бизнеса должны ежедневно работать вместе.

    5) Над проектом должны работать мотивированные профессионалы. Чтобы работа была сделана, создайте условия, обеспечьте поддержку и полностью доверьтесь им.

    6) Непосредственное общение является наиболее практичным и эффективным способом обмена информацией как с самой командой, так и внутри команды.

    7) Работающий продукт — основной показатель прогресса.

    8) Инвесторы, разработчики и пользователи должны иметь возможность поддерживать постоянный ритм бесконечно.

    9) Постоянное внимание к техническому совершенству и качеству проектирования повышает гибкость проекта.

    10) Простота — искусство минимизации лишней работы — крайне необходима.

    11) Самые лучшие требования, архитектурные и технические решения рождаются у самоорганизующихся команд.

    12) Команда должна систематически анализировать возможные способы улучшения эффективности и соответственно корректировать стиль своей работы

    In addition, there is a so-called. "Values":

    agile development values
    1) Люди и взаимодействие важнее процессов и инструментов.

    2) Работающий продукт важнее исчерпывающей документации.

    3) Сотрудничество с заказчиком важнее согласования условий контракта.

    4) Готовность к изменениям важнее следования первоначальному плану.

    Yes, beautiful words. It seems to be all to make the product more good, and work on it more productive. But the main trick of modern economic propaganda (not only about product development methods, but also in a broad sense) is an attempt to look at everything through the eyes of business. When they say "efficiency increases" - they talk about increasing margins, when they say "development speed will increase," they say that a business can develop and sell its products faster, and, therefore, force out competitors. But we are not told anything about whether people in general, humanity as a whole need it?

    The main feature of the Agile approach, which provides the very “flexibility in development”, is the breakdown of the process into small periods of time, called sprints. This is usually 1 or 2 weeks. A sprint must end with a release - the release of some kind of finished product, which gives the result visible to the customer. Another feature of Agile - the customer of the product can change the terms of reference in the course of the action, so that what the product developer is doing at any given time corresponds to what the customer wants at the moment.

    What does this mean for the product developer, that is, the proletarian? Let us now try to look at this business through his eyes, and not with “the eyes of Senkevich,” that is, business.

    The hired labor worker is primarily forced to sell his ability to work in order to have basic means of subsistence. Now, in the 21st century, when such a layer of workers as peasants, when production becomes more and more centralized, the class of mercenaries — the proletariat — is constantly growing into non-existence, is constantly growing:

    “Figure A1 shows what’s up to 10 percent per day in the past 10 years, rising from 41.8 per cent in 1995 to 51.6 per cent in 2015. In developed countries, where the It has been noted that it has been in the interim state of the world. Consequently, the global increase in global growth rate is a very tangible point and an increase in the growth rate. ”


    This is a quotation from the report of the International Labor Organization at the UN. More than half of all workers in the world work for hire.

    As is known, the degree of division of labor is growing with the development of the economy. Labor as a meaningful, creative activity of man is increasingly alienated from himself. Roughly speaking, if a person first made a primus, then he began to make only one central nut, which holds this primus, but to do it as efficiently as possible, on equipment that is ideally suited to the production of this particular nut. Man thus became an appendage to the instrument of production. I think that further there is no point in explaining, this point has been very thoroughly analyzed from Karl Marx.

    With the advent of the century of science, when knowledge became a true tool of labor, the work of the proletariat acquired a certain degree of freedom. Indeed, a person who can, on the basis of his knowledge, synthesize a new one, independently draw conclusions, creatively transform production processes, is not so enslaved in the sense of his attitude to work. The bourgeois still withdraws the surplus product, but the worker himself feels involved in the labor process. Involved his highest human abilities. In other words, he might even be interested.

    Agile as it drives us back into the era of primitive maintenance of the machine. Yes, the employer still needs the knowledge and head of the employee. However, now, when the process is divided into the shortest possible segments, the worker no longer concentrates on the production of the whole product. His focus is on the constant production of small improvements. It produces nuts, which then somehow grow themselves into an integral mechanism. Or, which happens even more often, it only improves what has already been built by someone.

    The second important process, which is accelerated with the introduction of Agile, is the actual decomposition of labor collectives. Agile is touted as a convenient mechanism that allows you to transfer the labor resources of a capitalist to various projects, while maintaining the high quality of the supplied product. The downside of this is that people in teams are constantly shuffled. Actually, many companies directly encourage the so-called "horizontal growth": frequent movement of people in departments, departments, changing roles in teams.

    For the employer, this is a plus: if the working unit is sharpened so that in each section it quickly comes to a working position and issues a product to the mountain, then the production flexibility increases, and the overhead costs due to the change of nomenclature are reduced. For an employee, all this actually turns into constant stress. We, people, in the course of evolution, got some skills and features of social interaction. For us, there is an approximately clear set of social connections that we can maintain indefinitely (usually 80-120 people are referred to). We usually have a closer circle of communication and a more distant one. We are accustomed to build closer ties with those people with whom we spend more time (and at work we have at least 40-50 hours out of 168 in a week).

    "Flexible" design destroys this comfort. If people are constantly changing, it makes no sense to build long-term relationships. Interpersonal contacts are degraded to the usual exchange of working information. People feel the notorious “loneliness in the open-space”: when there are a lot of people around and the processes are built in such a way that it is very difficult to maintain a satisfactory atmosphere within your team.

    By the way, in Sbertech itself agile resistance is serious. I had the opportunity to work there for three months, but I managed to understand that the entire organization literally resists the fact that it classifies it to a set of small teams that are loosely connected with each other. Finally, the objective requirements for a serious banking product make people think in much larger categories than the sprint and the morning stand-up. Therefore, on top of the agile practice itself, Sbertech leads another layer of “adult” management decisions that de facto provide the framework for the sustainability of the entire production of the software product.

    An undoubted plus for the employer: he is more immune from organized actions by his teams. Strike a strike or at least decide on some actions to defend their rights is possible only when the team is soldered, its members have a common interest and the same look at the minuses in building the production process. Naturally, flexible teams have no permanent backbone, they can be disbanded at any time, transformed. There is no one to be the second side of a meaningful dialogue with the employer.


    What awaits us in the future? Of course, we understand that our current capitalist production is super-costly. Even before the era of automation, people rightly dreamed that they would have to work less with the introduction of electronic computing devices: machines would take over the main routine. What do we have at the end of the 2nd decade of the XXI century? - The fact that people in the most advanced countries still work a lot, a lot. At the core of this situation is an inherent feature of capitalist relations: chaotic market production and universal competition.

    At the current place of work I am doing some conditional user interaction systems. The same systems have already been made about 100,500 times around the world. In general, they have the same functionality, they differ only in details. What new things do I bring with my work, if you look through the eyes of our common collective consumer, humanity as a whole? - Yes, almost nothing. We simply heat the air so that one manufacturer can come forward for a short time in competition with another manufacturer. We can reuse the results of work only as part of a single economic agent, in this case a commercial company. We can not somehow influence the process of setting new and new product requirements: the competition offers constant changes. And even when we post our sample solution in open-source,

    well you understand what it is about

    Thus, all the optimization provided by new management methods, in particular, agile, practically does not bring the overall progress of the industry and the wider economy. This is a tool for tug-of-war, in a competition where teams are also constantly changing.


    This colossal breakthrough will not be in the intensification of production activities, not in packing even greater “efficiency” while the employee is in the workplace. The real breakthrough will be in the correct formulation of tasks, when the production process will be subordinated to only one thing: satisfaction of needs. Some people, out of habit, call our society consumer, but in essence it is a sales society: it is the permanent requirement of capital turnover that determines all our activities. Companies innovate not as new fundamental discoveries appear or as serious, significant baggage of applied developments accumulates. They introduce them to maintain the investment cycle within the framework of the existing global model of economic relations.

    With the socialization of the means of production and the cessation of the often meaningless competition, humanity will finally begin to truly use the full potential accumulated as science and technology develop. There will be an urgent question about the true liberation of human labor, which will be accompanied by a reduction in working time. This question is also taken apart from the classics. We only need to note that the explosive growth of production efficiency in society will follow two ways: in addition to the above cessation of meaningless competition and, as a result, the constant reproduction of the same solutions, this automation will also be massively introduced, previously restrained as a high threshold. introduction (riskiness of investments under capitalism), and the usual labor market that is constantly ready to use. Relatively quickly, humanity will find a way to select the most successful technologies from the entire zoo of the available technologies, as well as to reuse as much as possible the accumulated experience. The general robotization and automation, the continuous use of the best practices, and not only those for which there is money, will only release a person from the oppression of the routine production process, will give him time for a truly creative work.

    Finally, agile will leave its most important basis: under production, it will not be necessary to fuss anymore. In fact: from a social point of view, it is much more profitable and wiser to produce a good product once than to produce 20 products, each of which still needs to be constantly brought to mind. No one will forbid making innumerable modifications of the same decisions (for example, a million different phone models). However, the very attitude to such a concept as time will change. As the press of total competition with other economic agents goes, there will be time and incentives to do their work, using all their creative, spiritual forces. With the growth of the power of production on the basis of advanced science, technology and methods of organizing production and reducing the time

    Naturally, with this approach to production, a person will not need to constantly merge-pour into different teams and set a timeline for product release once a week or two, just to keep up with the constantly moving market. The products of the material and spiritual world will finally regain for themselves the true solidity, forethought, depth of design, which so distinguishes the world of classical masterpieces from the world of one-time things of the modern constantly accelerating market.

    Of course, it would be foolish to abandon all the tactical developments gained in the previous era. Perhaps some elements of agile will be useful in the future. For certain, there will be such situations when it will be necessary to act quickly and within the limits of resource constraints. Also, humanity is likely to devote more strength to interdisciplinary interaction, where synergistic effect from the fusion of different knowledge is possible. In such cases, elements of the organization of flexible production will be useful.

    An iterative development approach will also take place. The IT community itself is already finding the right forms of interaction based on new relationships. For example, in opensource projects we can each offer our own merge-request. However, we do not need to get up to the line at 10 am and tell others what we did yesterday. Our overseer is only our desire to make the world a better place.

    Man, as he is freed from the pressure of economic circumstances, will increasingly subordinate production to himself, and not to obey him as a silent tool. Instead of a constant stream of chaotic market requirements, the person himself will become a co-customer of his work. Outside of economic coercion, it will be possible to form teams of like-minded people. Without the constant threat of losing the market, the rhythm of work will become such that a person fully restores his physical and spiritual strength. The agile juicer is a thing of the past.