Agile, agility?

One of the architects of the agile manifesto, Dave Turner, has written an eloquent piece on how the term “agile” has been horribly misappropriated:

The word “agile” has been subverted to the point where it is effectively meaningless, and what passes for an agile community seems to be largely an arena for consultants and vendors to hawk services and products.

Sadly, this mirrors my experience, and probably that of many other IT practitioners out there. The term has been comprehensively bastardised, and has pretty much completed a transition to “buzzword” status. Many organisations use it as a shortcut: poorly-designed apps which they think they’s producing on the cheap. Rather than being genuinely agile in approach, software teams find themselves delivering over-specified software for disinterested business teams wondering why their costs aren’t reducing. It’s a bit of a sorry state of affairs, although of course there are plenty of people also doing it right.

Turner recommends a return to the core precepts of the manifesto drawn-up over thirteen years ago:

Individuals and Interactions
over Processes and Tools
Working Software
over Comprehensive Documentation
Customer Collaboration
over Contract Negotiation, and
Responding to Change
over Following a Plan

Put like that, it’s easy :-).

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  1. Yup, spot on. Agile is the current buzzword and it has been hijacked by the very people that created the bloated processes that Agile was created to fix. I have seen real Agile work and I have seen fake Agile fail miserably. Add a few layers of Project Managers and Business Analysts, stir well and wait for failure. Ed Maloney#

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