Agile – Yes or No

Every so often there is an article or conference session proclaiming the death of Agile.  I am not linking the latest one – because honestly I would be doing a disservice in having you read something about Agile that is missing the mark of what Agile is completely.  When these things are published, I receive questions so I’ll check out the information.  Unfortunately, I usually get a paragraph or two in before I just stop and move on with my day.

I was going to write a big blog post about why I stop and don’t bother reading but I believe Alistair Cockburn wrote a wonderful response.  I sometimes find myself saying “I’m not Agile focused now, more leadership these days” but the reality is that what I focus on today is stemmed in many many years of Agile experience.  I may have been an early adopter thus I need to better honor the place the learnings hold in my life today.  That said, I don’t agree that two day courses (certified or not) are the snake oil of the industry.  Yet, I also have a hard stance that I teach what I think is valuable not teach based on certification learning objectives only.  I’ve seen plenty of bad classes that give certifications – so I totally understand this view too.

I think this is part of what makes becoming Agile so difficult and also possible…that there is not one right way for everyone.  Life, especially people, are too complex.  The variation of opinions, content and even approaches is part of what has made people and organizations successful (thus agile successful).

Alistair finished by saying “Collaborate, deliver, reflect, and improve, in tight cycles.  If you can find something better, use it.” My simplistic statement…is there really nothing to learn and discover?  Yep, rhetorical obvious question.  My education and experience with Agile helps me learn and discover value every day – not by implementing every practice but understanding… as Alistair puts it…The Heart of Agile.

How has Agile helped you?


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