I think that my upper management read the benefits column of an Agile
process but forgot to read about the requirements or how successful
Agile businesses got there.
This is a very common problem with Agile...
Because Agile is so light on rigid processes, in a lot of shops it becomes an excuse for sloppy cowboy coding - a kind of methodology which looks like Agile on paper, but is really no methodology at all.
My last workplace was exactly like this. It was basically cowboy coding. The only saving grace was that they had an official Testing department and a decent bug tracking system - so at least the iterations on development of new features were relatively formalised. But in all other aspects, Agile was hardly implemented properly at all. 90% of the time you were just hacking away at some completely undocumented code.
At the end of the day, I think the biggest issue here is the good old "If you're not typing, you're not working" syndrome. A lot of non-technical managers just don't seem to get that there is more to programming than sitting at your desk banging away at code. And these are the aspects of Agile which often get neglected. eg, At my last workplace it seemed to be a bit of a taboo for programmers and BAs to sit together for a long time discussing something, as if it wasn't "real work". We'd just get a basic description of a feature, implement it, and then it wouldn't be accepted by the client. Repeat. Eventually the entire codebase becomes a hack upon a hack - not to mention that taking the time to refactor is also often not considered "real work" in that sort of environment.