Last week, the XtC London group met up with the SPA2009 attendees. Joseph Perline ran a panel session with Tim Mackinnon, Rachel Davies and others in which they discussed the weakening of the Agile brand.
One of the most interesting comments was Tim’s assertion that Agile “fails the purchase test”. That is; if someone won’t buy the opposite of what you’re selling, then the brand of what you’re selling has no value. In Agile terms, if no team will claim to be “not Agile” then the word “Agile” itself no longer has any value.
How many teams nowadays will actively claim to still be running Waterfall, for any flavour of Waterfall? Of course not. We’re all “Agile”, aren’t we?
At an Agile 2008 keynote, Uncle Bob asked everyone who was on an Agile project to raise their hands, then put them down if they failed any of certain criteria: no unit tests, no acceptance tests, iterations of more than two weeks, no showcases to the business, etc. By the end, hardly anyone had their hands up.
So, given that those of us who are on Agile projects are often less than perfectly Agile, how do you decide whether you’re actually in that space, or are merely one of the teams weakening the brand?
Do you know what “not Agile” looks like? And are you sure it doesn’t look a bit like you?