Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Want Agile Back

Note: this was originally all plain text and a little shorter. 
As more people have joined the conversation, and other supportive materials have come to mind, it is growing links and a little verbiage but this is only to support the idea: we don't have to settle for expediently cranking out horrible work between pointless meetings. We can do better. 

Are we getting tired of the kind of "agile" where you don't really have any particular technical practices, change (and improvement) is entirely optional, and you pretty much do waterfall with additional overhead of meetings?

Are we tired of seeing "sprints" and "iterations" used as ways to pressure people into working harder and longer ("pushing velocity"), with no training or learning or even autonomy? Are n-week death marches the ultimate expression of our values?

Are we tired of the kind of "agile" that's all about buzzword compliance and rituals and motivational posters? Aren't we in the industry tired of being shamed by people who think that this weak, soul-less form of agile is what we wanted

I know we can do better.

We've done better. We can go further.

I want my "agile" back.


I think that I've gone as far as I want to go with this. I've had discussions with good people like George Dinwiddie and Joshua Kerievsky, and I think there are ways to go about this that don't verge on "recreational anger" or "habitual anger" or "victim blaming" and have realized that there is a much higher road to take here.
For progress on the higher road, follow the movement around Modern Agile. This is not a company trademark or a reinvention, just a refocusing on the core values that (IMHO) made Agile great to begin with -- at least in the places where it has been great. 


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