Jun 6, 2009

"...b b but I was only being agile"

A company I was working with had an important release to production coming. At the same time the CTO was working on a prototype for a future feature and everybody was clear on that. Since I was in charge of product releases I made sure everything was ready to "push the button" to production the day before the set date and went home with peace of mind, only to arrive to the company the next morning to discover that the push to production had included the feature the CTO was prototyping. Needless to say I was a very unhappy camper, and although the feature didn't break anything it was not production-ready. We had a meeting with executives about an hour later and I brought the issue to everybody's attention, to which the CTO replied that he pushed the feature without consulting anybody because, quote "...b b but I was only being agile", end quote. To which I replied "there is a big difference between being agile and doing something that has absolutel nothing to do with agile and could've createed a permanent scar on the company's reputation!".
Yes, I was quite bold and, yes, everybody had their eyes wide open because I confronted the CTO in a way others wouldn't dare to even consider. The company already had a long history of people trying to cut corners under the excuse of being agile and I knew that if managers and executives did not set the right example then individual contributors would also feel entitled to continue doing so. All features pushed to production from that day on went through the right process.