Goodbye consultancy

I worked as project manager and seen different dysfunctional behaviors and processes. Matrix projects where I needed resources from different teams who were in no way motivated or interested in the result of "the" project. You n+1 managers re-writing your project reports to the steerco's presenting nice water melons.

As agile scrum master/coach. I've seen all the organizational dysfunctions represented in the Agile implementations

  • Command & control agile
  • Sprints are planned so you feel like your sprinting a marathon
  • Flexibility that is inflexible. You can inspect but not adapt

Cargo Culting Agile to the extreme even results in a standardized Safe framework.

The "we're special that's the why we work this way" is the mantra for toxic environments. This will grind you down.

Stop gap Agile

Most people in software development know about Conway's law. It was debunked and later proven right in a study from Harvard business school.

Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.

The end goal is great products and setting up the environment to create these products. Just putting old wine in new bags isn't going to cut it!

if you’re trying to develop software using the Agile methodology and your organization is large and hierarchical, you might have trouble.

I don't want to pretend anymore, I throw away the coconut headphone! There was already a blog post on Cargo Cult Agile in 2008.


It sounds all negative but it isn't. I see a lot of people struggling daily to improve things. Hard working good meaning people made me stick to the consultancy trade. I realized it's not the people at fault here. It's the system they work in.

Systems can't be changed with re-organizations from top down. Even by the time this re-org is designed and implemented the model is already outdated.

There are better ways to do this. Jurgen Appelo wrote a book about it. There is even the cynefin framework in which I believe that deals with complex organizations.

What is next

I could stick around and try to change these organizations. But I'm not the type of person who has the energy to move slow moving companies. I don't like delayed results ;)

But I firmly believe I can do better and want to do better. So starting a new venture was the right thing to do. With a friend I started coolDEVOPS a company that provides system admin as a service and consultancy covering different devops practices. From 4 may onwards we join skyscrapers a company delivering managed services in the cloud and devops consultancy. It was logical to join forces after realizing our goals were aligned.

Important part is not only what service we provide to our customers. It's also important that we build a great place to work. Some methods to realize this goal: Remote work, transparency, healthy life work balance and we appreciate input from everyone working for us.

Very important we're always hiring.