An agile coach was called to promote agile in a big bank. In one of his teams, half of the team is external consultants who have been there for 3-4 years. They currently implement Sales Force.
In the words of the Team's Certified Scrum Master, their Software Development Lifecyle is:
- Do a high level analysis for about 1.5 months In this phase everyone is creating user stories, since the Product Owner (PO) is too busy to write all of the user stories coming from all the workshops that are currently happening to lock down the system's specs. They claimed that this 1.5 month of discovery and design is necessary, since there is massive inter-connection amongst the pieces in Sales Force, and that they have to decide upfront what they can implement and what not (based on external dependencies).
- Create a Backlog with all the user stories that will be prioritized during the sprints by the PO, and run sprint planning sessions. Deliver in an "sprint" - iterative fashion for 3 months
- Last 3 months, back end / integration testing with the rest of the existing systems.
The consultant even mentioned that comprehensive documentation is needed in case something goes wrong, and they need to refer back to who's fault is it, so that the consultancy is in the clear.
They currently do stand ups (?) to report what they did yesterday, and what they will do today, but no planning meeting or retrospective, as they are in the "designing phase".
The agile coach raised this with a couple of other managers and they said in an eye rolling fashion "yeah, these (consultancy name here) do it their own way and have their own agenda."
The PO is clearly biased to follow the consultant's approach, since they have been working together for a while, and she has been a program manager for a while, and then converted to a PO.
Have you had experience similarly with external consultants who claim to have figured it out, but have got it all wrong, but are strongly positioned within a company?
Should the agile coach enforce a practice and claim that everything they do is agile, or should he let them fail and feel the pain before he intervenes?