Let’s play a small role-playing game. You are the vendor and I am the client. I exactly know what I want to buy. Sort of actually. OK, we may have to face some course changes as we hit the road. Anyway, I know what I want, okay?
At the moment I’m going to decide how your offer is best of breed because it surely is. So you tell me how great all the projects I can find in your portfolio were. You boast how enthusiastic reactions of your other customers were.
And we both know that’s complete bullshit.
Oh, maybe it isn’t but you wouldn’t tell me if things looked different anyway. You would try to sell me exactly the same sweet talk no matter how far from the truth it was. So no, don’t expect me to buy it.
Well, not the price, this is the last resort. Now it’s time for “we’re such a professional company” part. Methodology! That’s the thing. “As you may know, we employ agile approach in our teams so the software can’t be anything but top-notch. You had to hear about agile, this is one of the most popular and basically the best methodology these days.”
I don’t give a damn.
I mean really. Why should I care what approach you use? Because agile is better? There is no such thing as the ‘better’ methodology in general. Silver bullets just aren’t produced yet. Oh, I see, agile is the best approach in this very case. This is the best choice in my specific project and my specific environment. Yes, looks better that way. But you know what?
I couldn’t care less.
I mean really. I couldn’t care less what you say you use. The thing I could care about is how you really work. But you aren’t going to show me that. How could you anyway?
The trick is you can do equally crappy job under the banner of agile as under any other. You can tell waterfall stinks because Scrum is thousand times better. Or you can tell Scrum stinks because Kanban is thousand times better. And both will be equally false.
On the other hand if your teams are well-organized the name of your approach is third-rate. You will deliver and will deliver quality. And yes, I’ve just said you can perfectly do it using one of old-school heavy-weight approaches grouped under infamous ‘waterfall’ name.
Results produced by suboptimal (for any specific case) but well-organized approach will easily trump those produced by optimal but in-the-name-only approach. You can do terrible job using agile, or any other methodology for that case, which you use as your selling point.
So no, I don’t care whether you’re agile or not. What I care about is whether you build quality products. Unfortunately the latter is so hard to present.