I Don’t Want Agile Back

I Don’t Want Agile Back


Agile was always just a step on a path to better things. For many, it has become a destination. Get to Agile (whatever you decide that means), and… rest. In peace.

It’s Time to Kill Agile

Dave Thomas, one of the original Snowbirders, writes: “Agile is Dead”. For me, it’s been a dead man walking, for many years now.

Let’s Not Abandon All Hope, Though

Tim Ottinger writes: “I want my agile back”. I don’t.

I can sympathise with all those folks who have invested so much hope in agile, Agile, agility, etc.. For many I’m sure it looked like a way out of the soulless machine organisations that frustrate and depress so many smart folks on a daily basis. A new hope for peace in the galaxy.

But I believe it’s better to move on, rather than back.

I’d prefer we move forward, recognise the contribution that agile has made, and start dealing with some of the more fundamental aspects of writing software, running software businesses, and so on, that the ten plus years of Agile brouhaha has largely obscured.

I’d prefer we started attending to folks’ needs, and encouraging and supporting folks in sharing, discussing and meeting those needs, rather than adopt some set of vanilla assumptions about what folks need, however well-meaning.

I don’t want agile back. I want a world where we’re not all wasting 90% of our time – our lives – every day, A world where people matter. I haven’t abandoned the hope that we can build such a world, together. Let’s just not call it ‘agile’?

“Let’s abandon the word ‘agile’ to the people who don’t do things.”

~ Dave Thomas

– Bob

Further Reading

Different Worlds, Different Roads ~ Think Different

  1. Hi Bob, I haven’t given up on that yet. I even think that synthesis of both worlds is necessary.

    If you can invest the time, I’d like to hear your thoughts on this video, where I make an attempt at interfacing the two worlds, according to what’s neccesary for each, without bias on any of them.


    • Hayim: Process orientation at one time is hailed as a great virtue and ultimate. According to that focus on product prompts them to do ad hoc things and leave the process deficient. Certainly product is important but it should result from process but NOT hacking, rework and post process selection.

      Unfortunately Agile proponents are too reluctant and impatient to explain what Agile principles work and how. They keep arguing that Agile is NOT a method or process but a principle but it is NOT clear how the broad statements of Agile Manifesto by themselves guide the practitioners to produce anything consistent and reliable on large scale and wide deployment.

      I am still looking for the minimum essential set of Agile principles and practices that one can follow and achieve reliable results without much trial and error.

  2. I am coming from discussions where some Agile proponents became abusive. Some sane members have quoted you.

    Any overhyped principle or practice is bound to produce extreme reactions. Wisdom is in making best use of Agile and Waterfall etc. to maximize the value and reliability of professional work.

    Hope this would reduce strident claims of greatness of Agile and add some sense to what professionals have to do.


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