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Ken Schwaber doesn’t tweet very regularly. It is usually only a few tweets a month. But yesterday some of the Agile community went a little in a flurry over a tweet that he sent out:

If you clicked through to the link you went to a website called controlchaos.com. For reference, here is a screen shot of it as it stands now:

Site as it currently stands

It all looks semi real. There is a message from Ken and as you read it you think ‘Okay…. so why have the tweet about Kanban when there is no content relating to it?’

This is when it gets a quite interesting. Twitter’s @Rodrigoy(aka Rodrigo Yoshima from Aspercom) posted that the site was changed only a few moments later removing this:

The old post

For those who cannot see because my wordpress likes to make everything look small:

People love Kanban because it feels familiar. Everything is orderly and known, roles are laid out, project manager is in the saddle, metrics are in place.

BUT…

Kanban’s father, waterfall, failed. As waterfall’s progeny, Kanban also will fail for software development. Kanban is for complicated work, where there is more regularity than irregularity. Such as service calls. Scrum is for complex work like software development. The right process produces the right results.

Yes, apparently it says Kanban will fail for software development and was related to waterfall and not Lean or the Theory of Constraints. The Kanban and twitter community ignited for a while amazed at the faux pa’s.

So you are now left with the conclusion that either Ken went on a small rant and then realised it was maybe not a good thing consequently editing the page or something else happened. Why he didn’t delete the tweet as well is a good question.

There might be the possibility of both Ken’s twitter and the contolchaos website being hacked at the same time. Despite a lack of deep site content he is affiliated to it through an old but still existing common link to Advanced Development Method’s CTO Dick Faris and VP Bob Schatz through Primavera. It is also interesting that he hasn’t made a comment on the web content change.

What do you think – Hoax? Error? Hack? or Truth?

5 thoughts on “Ken Schwaber’s Tweet – Hoax? Error? Hack? or Truth?

  1. Kurt Häusler says:

    Not necessarily an error, hoax or hack. I am sure it came from Ken. Sure, it is provocative, even a bit trollish, but not necessarily false, and a reasonable reaction to expect from someone heavily invested in Scrum that might have only a superficial knowledge about Kanban.

    I partially agree with him. Kanban requires you to map out a sequence of steps in the value stream, such as Analyse, Develop, Test and Merge. Scrum just has a list of tasks that have to be done.

    In a more industrial production like environment, it is likely that a fixed set of steps is appropriate. With a more flexible, agile environment people are going to be doing a wider variety of things. Suppose we need to do some documentation, or carry out some experiments, or train some customers. How does that map to Analyse, Develop, Test and Merge?

    Scrum lends itself to people choosing what needs to be done and doing it. Kanban forces people to go through a series of steps that may or may not be appropriate for actually completing what needs to be done.

    Of course Personal Kanban (for Teams) doesn’t have this problem and uses the task oriented approach like Scrum so is going to be more useful for less standardized work.

    He should have kept the post and deleted the tweet.

  2. Jordan says:

    All this talk about Kanban failing, waterfall failing. What about Scrum failing? Where are the Scrum successes? I have an entry on my blog where people can post their Scrum success stories — and it is completely empty.

    If Scrum succeeds, then people should start showing where and how it succeeded. The movement can only run on hot air and waterfall demonizing for so long.

    The evidence seems to show that waterfall succeeds a lot more than Scrum does…

    Jordan

  3. Real, consistent with things he has said before.

  4. PM Hut says:

    I seriously suspect that Ken’s twitter and wordpress accounts were hacked (at the same time).

    It is in Ken’s interests to say that Kanban is NOT the next big thing, and to downplay it… Ken’s Scrum consultancy jobs are many, and it doesn’t make sense for him to support another framework.

    I have noticed that lately interest in Kanban is growing, the latest article I have published on the subject is this one.

  5. Danny says:

    I agree with Jordan. I wish more people, teams and companies were sharing their Kanban or Scrum, success or fail stories. I have found some Kanban case studies here: http://kanbantool.com/kanban-library/case-studies . Each of these methods suits particular applications as presented here: http://www.kanban-scrum.com. I bet that if somebody important for agile community will say that “Scrum is dead” there will be still a few people using it successfully, even years after.

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