After her mediocre talk on combining business analysts with testers and call them Expectation Engineering. Afterwards I raised the question whether she was aware that Agile practitioners found this out more than two years ago. Take for example Gojko Adzic‘s Bridging the Communication and Specification by Example. They both deal with bringing the programming and business analyst role together. But these ideas go beyond that. They also include the programmers into the discussions, and focus on advancing the whole team that is developing software. From this perspective Anne Mette’s approach seems interesting, but not enough to me.
Anne Mette replied to my question that she was aware about this. I had to follow-up on this by asking whether she was basically selling Agile ideas to waterfall people. The problem with this is that she does not seem to understand the underlying implications of Agile. Combining roles makes sense when combined with other practices. Without a whole team approach, the Expectation Engineers are likely to keep something for them, since communication leads to some overhead. The hand-off between Expectation Engineers and programmers is not fluent at this point. That is why Agile practitioners combine this with self-managing teams as well. Without the self-managing aspect of team-building, the combination of roles is dangerous, since it puts Expectation Engineers in a better position rather than supporting the whole team to advance.
Finally, Anne Mette replied that she sells these ideas less religious than Agile people. I didn’t follow up on this, because it just felt stupid to do so for me. Having said this, Agile people may seem religious to some extent. That is also an observation I made. But religious compared to what? IF I compare Agile teachings to the ISO program, ISTQB certification, or any other of the traditional systems currently making lots of money, I claim that Agile is teaching things way less religious than any of these programs. Beyond that, Agile people don’t seem to sell snake oil to their clients, either.