There is a very prestigious company that delivers a well-sold software about financial systems. It has more that 20 years of history, and is staffed with about 20 programmers and much larger number of managerial staff. Dissatisfied customers have reported strange bugs and no one has a clue what is wrong, hard to read code, and customization is prohibitively expensive. In a word, the software is rotten.
The company decided to spend a fortune and found the Agile thing as the remedy but they are stuck about what it is they need most urgently. Is it about the process or the developers or both? The challenge breaks down to the following options:
They can hire a certificate holding Scrum Master to teach them Scrum. When asked about the value of doing it, the SM responded: "I will prepare them to embrace Agile and only then they can go Agile and save the product".
They can as well hire a veteran XP coach. When posed with the same question he responded : "The most urgent problem is with the programmers and not the management, XP will save the product from rot and only then Scrum will make sense"
Developers are far from capable of doing agile programming practices at the moment. No unit tests, no pair programmings, no CI (huh? what is it?) ... you get the idea.
Some say they would be far better trying to improve their programming first (hire option 2) and then go with the process. Many say quite the opposite. Any insights ?