Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Agility - now there is a thing

I was reminded by a recent post by Dave Thomas, who was one of the original publishers of the Agile Manifesto, that the movement started from some very simple ideas.

 These were:

  • 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

but Agile became a noun and then a product. In most instances it became a "Cargo Cult" where the IT departments used the right words and symbols but did not understand how to get things done or even what the purpose was.

Despite the enthusiasm of so many developers (cultists included) many of us looked askance at this new "magic bullet" and waited for it to pass the way of so many predecessors. This is a shame as the initial ideas were all about delivering what the end user needed rather than what they (or their managers) said they wanted and frankly that has always been what I have been about.

Dave Thomas has now re-defined the concepts for a re-boot as:

What to do:

  • Find out where you are
  • Take a small step towards your goal
  • Adjust your understanding based on what you learned
  • Repeat

How to do it:

  • When faced with two of more alternatives that deliver roughly the same value, take the path that makes future change easier.

Now that I can sign up to. It is how I work day to day - with or without a particular customer or user in mind. Consider me a post-Agile developer.

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