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The Agile landscape – should we care?

Yes, “agile” is an umbrella term, the word was chosen by the signatories of the agile manifesto. Who-ever would be referring to the agile method, doesn’t understand what agile refers to.

The existence of many agile methods, frameworks and approaches (no, Scrum is not the only agile method) for single teams and multiple teams illustrates the continuous journey of exploring and uncovering new and better ways of developing products. And that’s a good thing, isn’t it? It would be worrying if the whole world would agree for a single method or way of working.

Illustrations as the one below show the diversity of methods in the whole “agile” landscape.

agile-landscape

  • interesting to see what exists, and under which “mindset” or “topic” things get categorised
  • worrying to see there exists that many different approaches and techniques
  • worrying to see there exists that much terminology, creating an “agile” “slang”
  • worrying to see that some expects “agile” “experts” to know all these different approaches and techniques,
  • even more worrying to see that some think by merely studying, learning and executing some approach of techniques, one becomes by definition “agile”
  • sad to see the word “agile” becomes meaningless due to this plethora of “agile” “whatever”

And so, it’s not surprisingly that some of the signatories publicly question what it means to be agile

Agile is dead“, by pragmatic Dave

“And, unfortunately, I think time has proven me right. 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.”

back to the “Heart of Agile” by Alistair Cockburn

“Agile has become overly decorated. Let’s scrape away those decorations for a minute, and get back to the center of agile.”

Ken Schwaber on “agile“:

What is “Agile”?
Any software activity that conforms or attempts to conform to the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto for Software Development.

So, yes, let’s consider all those items in the “agile” landscape;

and let’s value principles over practices

and let’s promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation.

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