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Thursday, August 07, 2008

The End of Agility?

So now that Agile software development, Scrum, Extreme Programming, and Lean thinking are all the rage, I have to wonder - is this where we thought it would all end up?

This puts me in mind of the early days of object-oriented programming, when Grady Booch first started drawing diagrams with fluffy clouds. It took about 5 years from the grassroots movement of developers finding that sort of modeling useful, to the Rational Unified Process being created, then mandated by organizations as best practice.

I see the same trend, for better or worse, with Agile methods. We now have certifications, big industry conferences, specialized tools and software (yes, my company included), consultants, trainers, and a few dozen books to help guide a fledgling agilist along the way.

Perhaps less encouraging, I also see more of a trend of mandates from upper management to the development organization that sound a bit like "We will use Scrum, whether you like it or not".

It's been about 10 years now since Agile methods (Scrum, XP, etc.) first took the stage. Ten years is usually about right for maturing a product, but what about an industry? Have we reached the peak of agility in organizations and the state of the practice?

If history is any indicator, the environment is ripe for the "next revolution". As the song goes, "Meet the new boss...same as the old boss".

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2 Comments:

  • Hi David,

    I think all the 'flavours' of Agile are proof that we are not near the end of agility. It is a continually evolving beast which people will always try to modify to suit requirements better.

    Regards,
    David
    http://www.jacksguides.com

    By Anonymous David, at 3:16 AM  

  • If the upper management mandates Scrum, they mandate self-managed teams, teams who have the authority to abandon Scrum.

    By Blogger Ola Berg, at 10:54 PM  

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