I've described this progression not to further increase the pain, but simply to point out that this may well be the environment in which the Agile transformation is initiated.
Clearly, this waterfall development model hasn't served the needs of the product managers or other stakeholders particularly well. With luck, at some point the enterprise commits to a new, Agile development paradigm. Often it's the development team that sponsors the Agile initiative, delivering a series of messages to the product management organization:
- Message 1: " We're heading down a new path, and this type of thing won't happen again."
- Message 2: "For us to be successful, you'll need to change many of your behaviors, too."
- Message 3: "With our new Agile model, we're going to stop predicting what will be delivered and when. We don't need those Marketing Requirements Documents anymore, and we won't be creating software design specs, either."
For developers and managers who are leading an Agile transformation, and in the context of the phase of Persistent Mistrust, I ask you to perform the following thought experiment: If you were a product manager operating in this environment, how would you react to receiving such messages?
Clearly, we're going to have to approach this change with a more mature thought process, as well as a credible strategy to get key stakeholders on board with our new model.