Agile Trends – Minus the Hype

Surprise, surprises … Agile has never appeared in Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. So, the task of separating the hype from reality becomes simpler. The reality, Scott Ambler says, is that “…you’d have a hard time these days trying to find people who don’t want to be agile…”

Agile is like starfish – you can cut one arm of an (starfish) Agile methodology and let it grow to (a full starfish) a tailored agile methodology to suited for your needs.

Now coming back to question 3 & 4 – [You need to read this post in conjunction with my earlier post where I had raised 4 questions and answered 2 of them].

3. If the current trend continues then where will it be in one year time?

For the majority, there will be 2 distinct style of agile adoption where the focus will be on …

  1. checklist based adoption: as long as you follow a series of steps recommended by the chosen methodology …
  2. iterative development: as long as you develop in iteration where complete specs have not been written down up front …

…it would be deemed that you are following agile methodology.

However, few questions will need to get answered:

4. What happens if you take no action on the specific technology for next one year?

This one is easy – if you take no action then you would have postponed the inevitable by one year.

The good news is that you can do it in your own way – the way that suits you the most.

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile has taken many forms and beyond the Agile Manifesto there is no commonly accepted definition of agile (What is the Definition of “Agile Methodology”?). There are so many different methodologies which are classified under agile – these methodologies have very little in common among themselves except that all of them recommend iterative development lifecycle.

Does any methodology which follows iterative development with evolving requirement become an agile methodology? Is self organizing team a necessity? Forrester, in a survey, has grouped “Lean” and “Six-Sigma” under agile but have a separate category for “Iterative Development”.

Has Agile gone main stream?

Forrester says “Agile Development is rapidly becoming the Norm”. As per their survey report on Agile Development Management Tools, Q2 2010, 35% of the organizations surveyed described Agile as their primary development tool. Another 16% uses iterative development. Waterfall represents only 13%. Here is the chart: had asked the question Agile programming 10 years on: Did it deliver? In this interesting blog post by Paul Krill, the answer is mostly on the affirmative. However, in another post
Bob Lewis raises a concern “…I hear about how it’s being taught as a series of steps you have to follow, not as a style of relationship management…”

About Starfish

Starfish (sea stars) are beautiful animals that resemble a star. Like agile methodologies they come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. They have the curious characteristics that not only can they regenerate lost arms but also some can even regenerate an entirely new sea star from just one arm and a portion of the star’s central disc.

Here is couple of references:

3 Responses to “Agile Trends – Minus the Hype”
  1. One fact is: The world around us is moving faster and faster, and so we must learn to become agile: in software development (which is far more than only programming), but also in project management.

    Fact is also: The still ongoing, now already more than 10 years old discussion about how to be agile so far did not generate much progress.

    The reason for this sad fact clearly is that the Agile Manifesto is leading us into a wrong, less professional direction.

    Why this is so and why, therefore, we need to focus on the goal of Agile rather than on the misleading way suggested by the Manifesto, is convincingly explained in the document
    The New (2011) Definitions of Agile.

    To read this paper (2 pages only) clearly is a MUST for everyone interested in Agile.

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