Principles of Software Flow

What Does It Mean to Move On From Agile?

What do I mean when I say I’m moving on from Agile?

Am I abandoning the values and principles?

Of course  not, because these were my values and principle prior to the Agile Manifesto.

This way of thinking was around for decades before the term “Agile” was coined.  If you don’t believe me then read Brodie’s Thinking Forth (1984).

These principles were not a revelation received at Snowbird.  It was the common core values that all of the participants shared.

The Agile Manifesto was written in February of 2001, at a summit of seventeen independent-minded practitioners of several programming methodologies. The participants didn’t agree about much, but they found consensus around four main values.

Let’s just put this conference into perspective.  17 developers got together, argued a lot and then finally came up with a core set of values.

I know that 17 developers actually managing to agree on something is a rare and precious thing, but please have a sense of perspective.  Please stop quoting the manifesto like it’s scripture.

Does it mean that I’ll stop using incremental development?

Of course not, because I was already using incremental development prior to the Agile Manifesto.  First I did RAD, then DSDM.  Since Arie van Bennekum happened to be there DSDM gets call itself Agile.

Is Glib’s EVO Project Management method Agile?  No, because he wasn’t there.

What if Ari van Bennekum had missed his flight?  Would DSDM still be considered Agile?  Is Agile just an accident of scheduling?  Yet this label, Agile, is used as if it has some deep, significant meaning.

For many years Agile served as a useful signal.  When I started on a new team I could be confident that the other members talking about Agile would share my values and perspective.  The term “Agile” served as a useful placeholder for those values and perspectives.  It was a perspective that valued new ideas and an open mind.

This is no longer the case.  Now I find myself constantly disagreeing with those who claim to be Agile.  I have come to associate the term “Agile” with a blinkered, prescriptive mindset.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * lisbeth says:

    Nice post on agile , I am likely to save your blog and will certainly go to once again and read all your posts. Maintain it up

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 4 months ago
  2. * johndunning says:

    I was interested to read that Steve Jobs started his day by planning what he wanted to achieve that day and how it fell into his longer term plans. Then he would work, lunch, and work again. In the evening he would assess what he had actually achieved.

    This strikes me as akin to many of the principles of agile.

    Whilst I like an agile approach it can be very taxing on its subjects. IT Dev can be intense and developers peak and trough during the week. Agile can make exacting and relentless demands on the team.

    Needless to say, any methodology is only as good as its practitioners who need to understand the reasoning behind the methodology rather than following it blindly.

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: