Taking Agile Back

I’ve seen some noise lately that appears to have started gaining momentum in February. It seems like it is still low on the signal to noise ratio, but it is a strong signal. It is starting to be pushed by thought leaders in Agile. Even some that have effectively been involved with Agile since before the manifesto. It has not yet reached critical mass, but I think it could.

I was not part of the early days of Agile. While the basics of Agile make just as much sense to me as to everyone else I was not involved in software development and project work until around 6 years ago. Before that I was CIT.

For the few projects we were part of back then we had smaller support roles. They were generally for setting up specific hardware/software and not conducive to Agile methods and practices. In retrospect we ran our team in a matter similar to Kanban, but without any formal process guidelines or documentation. Of course, even back then I was experimenting with improving our process through ticketing systems, deployment tools, and remote assistance – but I digress.

Since joining the Software development world 6 years ago the team I have been on has always been responsive to our customer. We have generally had a fast feedback loop for addressing problems and providing improved functionality. We have been able to work directly with key stakeholders. We have dabbled in improving our process as allowed by the organization.

We have not subscribed to a particular Agile methodology and forced it upon ourselves. We have not conformed to match what a consultant told us was the right way to do Agile. We haven’t, until the last year, even used the word Agile to describe what we do or how we do it.

In that context I may not look like the ideal candidate to be part of a movement about taking Agile back to the ideal that was imagined by some 13 years ago. That may be true, but taking Agile back isn’t just about the past. It’s about the future. I have immersed myself in Agile for a little over a year now. While I may not be a good representative of the past intent, I am part of the future. I may not be one to explain what Agile was supposed to be, but I am here to help shape what it could become. I am part of the movement to take agile back.

Read more at the following links:

Tim Ottinger
On http://notivago.org/
Curtis Cooley

I’ve also written about similar problems before. My Agile is not Scrum post is probably the best example right now. I am also working on a series of posts I’m calling Back to the Basics which I hope will stick to the proper spirit.

Do you feel the current state of Agile is where it should be? Should we be working to “take it back?” How about “move it forward?”

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