An executive software manager recently told me a tale of Agile adoption within an organization. There was a management team that has discussed, promoted, and advocated agile techniques to the engineering population for years. When the tide finally turned in favour of agile in the company the same management team then became the focal point of resistance. The reality of the consequences self-organization and “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools” were too alarming to be accepted.
He then went on to tell me the tale of Ye Gon Hao Long:
In ancient times there was a man called Ye Gong who was very fond of dragons. In his home everything, including the walls, windows, doors and even articles of daily use, were decorated with dragon designs. A real dragon was quite impressed when it heard about this, so it went to visit Ye Gong. However, when it struck its head through the window Ye Gong was frightened and ran away.
The reality of Agile is that it is vastly easier to talk about than to implement, and to fully commit means to change the organization. So beware the manager who loves dragons…