24 hours is a very long time in politics, but what about the software industry?


Suleyman Demirel was one of the most famous politicians in Turkey.  His quote regarding the complexity of politics in Turkey has become legendary:

“24 hours is a very long time in politics.”

If 24 hours is a very long time in politics, then what about the situation in the software industry?

For example, can we lock the door and start developing software in 2 weeks without interruption? Is it really possible, especially in Turkey’s (complex) conditions?

What is the meaning of Agile?

There is a lot of confusion in Turkey about what it means to be Agile. Let’s go step by step. Being Agile doesn’t equate to super fast software development. Being Agile doesn’t mean developing without documentation, either.

In a nutshell, the Agile concept is used to reduce the overall risk of projects.  For example, instead of sinking 1 million Turkish Lira into a project, Agile suggests you should  begin with a budget of 50.000 Turkish Lira, which is a much wiser decision.  Agile is for reducing risk. At the beginning of a project, if you aren’t certain about what path you should take, then applying Agile may be a smart decision. On the other hand, if your processes are very clear, then applying the Waterfall approach will increase your  ROI (Return of Investment). In summary, context matters.

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Scrum is not suitable for Turkey’s software markets

Scrum is not suitable for Turkey’s software markets.

The ultimate goal of any company is to increase both cashflow and net profit.

Companies need to learn to apply Agile principles in Lean mindset in order to

survive under unpredictable market conditions.

Most agile method: Kanban

Within the Cynefin framework, there are 4 core parts and 1 area of disorder.

Just like politics, the software development process is very complex. You cannot clearly predict every step of your process at the beginning of the project. The boss can come in and say, “Drop everything and start working on this,” because market conditions have changed. So, from my perspective, politics and software development are similar in that  24 hours a very long time in the software development industry.

Has anybody successfully implemented Scrum?

When faced with challenging market conditions, Scrum is weak. Scrum does not fully meet the needs of the market, especially when heavy load support processes come into play. Scrum is a fragile structure that will not hold up against extremely chaotic market conditions.

Can Scrum be applied throughout the organization? In the book, Tribal leadership, David Logan mentions each group has its own sub-culture. If you try to dictate Scrum structure to all teams, then there are bound to be areas of the organization where it is not very effective.   

Whatever you do, be Lean  

Whether you decide to use Waterfall or Agile methods for your project,you should always be Lean. Lean transformation is a must to eliminate waste (bugs, nonsensical requirements, etc…). If you can’t effectively eliminate waste then you won’t survive in this industry. As our elders say: a penny saved is a penny earned.

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