If I had any talent in any of the areas necessary for a Dilbert-like cartoon, you'd easily understand how I could come up with something like this. But Scott Adams has been independent of any technology job for a long time, since long before the agile methodology was even a gleam in its cursed father's eye. How does he manage to do this? I have no idea; I just stand in awe...
I'm ancient enough that I can remember a half dozen or so engineering management fads that came and went, from the late '70s up until my retirement in 2013. All of them shared some “features”:
- Lots of work for the managers at every level. This looked impressive to upper management, convincing them that something good was happening.
- Produced numerous reports purporting to track progress and predict development completion. In reality all of those reports were bullshit with varying degrees of stench.
- Reduced the productivity of all the most productive engineers, and encouraged them to leave.
- Encouraged the other engineers to value process over skill, experience, or knowledge.
- Produced managers with all the fervor of psychotic badgers, but without the attractive personality. Somehow these managers tended to rise in the ranks, exacerbating all the other bad effects of the current fad.
- Fizzled out after enough time passed that even the least-aware upper management folks understand that it didn't work.
In other words, engineering process may well be a Communist plot!
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