The mantra of Agile is Trust the team. In some domains, that is an admirable goal. In other domains it's a naïve path to disaster. I work in the latter domain, on mission critical, sometimes national asset programs, but always mission critical - can't fail, must work, must provide proper information when called upon to do so.
When we are called on to perform a Root Cause Analysis of why the system failed to do what it was suppose to be, we find the same thing that Dr. Bill Corcoran suggest is found on all root cause analysis processes.
An inescapable fact is that the competent investigation of every harmful event reveals that the causation of the harm includes the mistaken/ naïve/ unwarranted/ gullible/ imprudent trust and confidence in one or more erroneous/ untrustworthy theories, assumptions, standards, devices, procedures, processes, programs, people, institutions, agencies, contractors, and/or conditions. The functional alternatives include monitoring, curiosity, skepticism, and the “questioning attitude.”
Here's some quotes to apply when you hear agile means trust of the team, why are you questioning our processes, our methods, our organizational models. (Thanks to Dr. Corcorn's news feed today):
- You get what you inspect; not what you expect - An old U.S. Navy proverb
- Trust, but verify - Quoted by President Ronald Reagan
- A sucker is born every day -Attributed to P. T. Barnum
- The world abounds in unrocked boats with holes just above the current waterline -Salty Wisdom
- Faith is believing for sure what ain’t so -Mark Twain
- In God we trust; all others please furnish evidence - Unknown for now
So saying it again for clarity - you can't make a decsion in the presence of uncertaty without estimating the outcome of that decision. When you do, be preared to conduct a Root Cause Analysis of why your project went in the ditch. Trust is necessary but far from sufficient when spending other people's money on non-trivial development efforts.