The Tyranny of Taylorism and how to spot Agile BS

Even those that developed and industrialised waterfall no longer believe it has value, and they still struggle with the tyranny of Taylorism. While 81% of all development shops say that they are adopting agile, the reality is far from it; only 22% do short iterations, 16% have ordered backlogs, & 13% do retrospectives! They still lack feedback loops. This talk will take a walk through history from 1890 through to the present and follow the rise and eventual fall of Waterfall in the very organisation that developed it; the US Military-Industrial Complex. From communities through the industrial revolution, mechanisation of the workforce, the first MBA’s, the pursuit of hierarchical plan-driven solutions, and bureaucracy to the realisation of reality and the struggle to change.

1880 – Social, Family, Community, Problem Solving
1890 – Industrial Revolution and mechanisation of the workforce
1906 – First MBA and enshrinement of the carrot and the stick
1920 – First ideas that people are different ridiculed
1950 – Sequential work adopted by US Military
1970 – Waterfall designed and adopted
1993 – First Scrum Project
2001 – Agile Manifesto
2010 – Consultation on new DOD procurement rules
2013 – New Procurement rules mandating iterative delivery go live
2018 – Detecting Agile BS
2019 – USAF Memo

Future – Social, Family, Community, Problem Solving


  • Martin Hinshelwood
    Martin Hinshelwood
    naked Agility

    Martin Hinshelwood is a Professional Scrum Trainer. Professional Kanban Trainer, and Microsoft MVP: Development Technologies. He has been Consulting, Coaching, and Training in DevOps & Agility since 2010 and has been delivering software since 2000.


Jun 16 2021


14:30 - 15:00
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