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Scrumfall: When Agile becomes Waterfall by another name

By Jeremy Duvall, for the CIO Online

This story was originally published on CIO.com on April 25th, 2022.


“Businesses reasserting outdated development principles are undoing not only the promised product benefits of Agile, but also its human-centric principles. It’s time to recommit.”

It was once believed that Agile was the great hope of humane project management. But the “Church of Agile” is now being corrupted from within by institutional forces that have refused or been unable to adapt to the very “radical humanity” self-baked into its supposed success: collaborative, self-organizing, cross-functional teams. Now a hollowed-out husk of Scrum conceals the same taskmasters of much-maligned Waterfall methodology, which has created a Trojan Horse of betrayal.

With Waterfall methods masquerading as Agile’s beloved Scrum — call it Scrumfall — businesses are reasserting top-down micromanagement, fortifying silos, fettering flexibility, and commoditizing software engineers as mere cogs cranking out code. This sham of true Scrum is undoing not only the promised product benefits of Agile, but also its human-centric principles emphasizing trust, collaboration, respect, connection, and sustainable work environments.

Our founder Jeremy Duvall took pen to paper to lay out more of how and why this blended approach is ultimately toxic for efficient teams. Read his groundbreaking revelations here.