Iteration should not be reduced to Scrum time-boxed cycle
There seems to be some rebellions against Scrum time-boxed iterations like on leansoftwareengineering. Some have been willing to announce her death sentence. This latter title was clearly meant to be controversial but as every controversy if you read the arguments, they all seem reasonable. So here’s my viewpoint which I think is quite different from most opinions that have been asked on AgileScout.
Let’s remark that in general most controversies originate from semantics and this one doesn’t escape the category. Because the critics here is about time-boxed cycle named iteration in Scrum parliance and as Scrum has widespread to become dominant in Agile methodology, iteration tends to have reduced to a narrowed time cycle definition. I think these authors make a great service to Agile by pinpointing the danger of time-boxed cycle because this reminds of Taylorism.
But my viewpoint is that instead of getting rid off iteration per-se, one should restore the original meaning of iteration by going back to the hidden origin of Agile. As I said, Agile did inspire from Lean which tried to restore lost Deming‘s principles in Quality. For Deming, iteration is a fundamental tool of continuous improvement principle, which he reifies in his Deming Wheel or PDCA cycle. This cycle or circle or rather spiral is less about time or cadence but about the 4 sequences of Plan-Do-Check-Act (Correct) which should be repeated over and over again which constitutes the operational definition (also a key Deming concept) behind continuous improvement. This PDCA comes itself from the scientific process composed of Induction and Deduction phases. The reason Deming and Shewhart did invent that Wheel is Visual Thinking to make the mass understand abstract concepts in factories.
So if people get rid off Iteration even if they were meaning cadence, the risk is that there would be no name left for the real concept of Iteration. So instead of announcing the death of Iteration, just rather kill time-boxed cycle alone but please restore the term iteration to her original meaning.