Now that teams have spent some time with agile methods, some are finding it's not the silver bullet they expected. Agile is a set of principles for writing better software but it's not the answer for every team.
Making good software is hard, and anyone claiming to have a magical process that guarantees good software is selling snake oil. I can appreciate your wanting to make a buck, but would also seriously appreciate it if you could find some other industry besides software development to go screw up
There's a bunch of anti-agile screed in the mix but to me it seems that agile is imposed on some people--and it's not always the right choice. Yet don't lose sight of the success stories: applying a discipline--agile or otherwise--to the art of development is always a good idea. The real successes seem to be there: from cowboy coding to iterative development.
My rule is this: friends build products. Collaboration is better than contract negotiation. We need something between a cocktail napkin and an 800-page MRD/PRD. How about a set of index cards with an agreement to discuss. That's the approach we take in Requirements That Work.
This past Saturday on a beautiful sunny day in Northern Virginia, about 70 people passionate about building great products came out for the first ProductCampDC. Hosted by Network Solutions in Herndon, VA the space was great for three parallel tracks of topics that ranged from mobile product innovation, three types of product managers, adventures in P&L and managing engineers.