Many reasons to be Agile

I'll confess, one of the more surprising results of my recent research into Agile development in practice is the large number of motives to go Agile. From eliminating useless documentation to shortening development cycles to making the schedule more predictable, there were as many different reasons for Agile as people I interviewed.

Perhaps that's part of the success story of Agile: partly by design, partly by historical accident, the Agile movement addressed many different needs. In this way, Agile is a lot like the Protestant Reformation. Remember junior high school history class, when we heard that Luther's protest conveniently occurred just when secular princes were looking for ways to gain independence from Rome? The Agile movement arrived when more was happening in the technology industry than just the disgust of developers with schedules in which no one believed, or projects that didn't deliver what the customer wanted.

Just as Protestantism broke up into different sects, Agile has split into different methodologies. However, what's clear also from the research is that there's no war between orthodoxies in development teams. While development teams in the same organization might choose different Agile techniques (or, in many cases, a mix of methodologies, not always limited to Agile), and may even get a little competitive, there haven't been the counterproductive religious wars that marred earlier movements in our industry. Thank God for that.

Comments

re: Many reasons to be Agile

This is exactly the conclusion I came to when we started working with agile. There are just a lot of problems it clears up or eliminates! By putting first things first (that is, doing the most important features first and getting them done) you lose some optimization capabilities, but you still *did* the most important things.And maybe it's part of the nature of "the most important things" but you don't really need as much documentation for them up front. Typically, everyone's on the same page and very committed to "the most important things."

re: Many reasons to be Agile

Our VP of engineering believes that we are unable to implement an Agile methodology because we are too date driven.Any ideas on how to communicate how Agile helps protect dates, rather than send them to the wind?