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InfoQ Homepage News Blog Series - The State of Agile

Blog Series - The State of Agile

 The Agile Scout blog has put out a call for comments on The State of Agile.  Ten commentators have been invited to contribute.  Their musings are being posted over starting from the 26th of  October.

An eclectic group of authors from a wide range of backgrounds are providing their thoughts on how Agile has changed and where it is headed.  The initial list of invited and confirmed contributors is: 

  1. Robert P. Kelly – @rkelly976 -
  2. Matthias Marschall – @mmarschall -*CONFIRMED
  3. Eric D. Brown – @ericdbrown -
  4. John Sutcliffe – @otisthemanager -
  5. Derek Huether – @derekhuether - *CONFIRMED
  6. Lisa Crispin @lisacrispin - *CONFIRMED
  7. Donna Reed – @agilistapm -
  8. Vincent D’Amico – @brainslink *CONFIRMED
  9. Ian Spence – @adaptableco -
  10. Josh Nankivel – @pmStudent - *CONFIRMED
  11. Sara Broca @sara_broca - *CONFIRMED
  12. Victor Hernandez – @vhernandez -
  13. Bernardo Tirado – @bernardo_tirado -
  14. Jim Benson – @ourfounder -
  15. Marcin Niebudek – @tinypm - *CONFIRMED
  16. Mark Levison – @mlevison -
  17. Ken Schwaber – @kschwaber *CONFIRMED
  18. Bob Marshall @flowchainsensei -
  19. David Alfaro – @agilenature
  20. Tobias Mayer – @tobiasmayer –*CONFIRMED
  21. David Hicks - @DaveHicksRADTAC – *CONFIRMED

Each contributor is asked to answer the following questions:


  • Your (author) background?
  • How Agile has changed (from authors perspective) in terms of methods, philosophies, ideologies, pragmatic applications, etc.?
  • Where is Agile going (in the future)?


Here are thoughts from some of the initial contributors:

Tobias Mayer:

The important thing to remember is that there is so much more to draw on than the Agile family of methods. There is Improv, Artful Making, CAS, Games Theory, Integral and Coactive Coaching, NLP, Dan Pink’s Motivation 3.0, the work of Ricardo Semler, Seth Godin, <add your favorite writer>, the inspirational ideas from so many TED Talks, and much more.  The Agile community, the Agile-rooted ideas are a very small part of a whole movement taking place in the world of knowledge work. We are marching, or perhaps more accurately slipping and sliding towards a new paradigm. Agile is part of a ripple that when combined with other ideas and practices will collectively become a tidal wave of change.
So how do I see Agile? I see it as one stepping stone (a particularly beautiful one) on a great journey towards a business world that is more caring, loving, respectful and altogether more joyous. Agile will meld into the ideas of many other movements, and we’ll all move forward towards the greater goal, seeking similarities and finding ways to collaborate, innovate and reconceive the way we work.

 Derek Huether

It’s called mastery-based learning and the paradox of the certification.  What is the goal?  Are we trying to discover better ways to deliver value to our customers or are we just trying to get a piece of paper and a few extra letters after our names?  Some are pursuing the mastery of performance-based objectives versus learning-based objectives (ie. getting a passing score on a certification exam versus being a good manager or leader).

I will conclude in saying, in order for the Agile community to continue to grow and keep true to the principles of the Agile Manifesto, certification programs should truly add value and assess the skill set as well as knowledge of the individual

 Ken Schwaber:

Agile software development is a path to return our profession to its roots – working closely and collaboratively with our customers to build target-on high-value products just-in-time 

Our world has become very crowded, complex and interdependent. The technologies and insights we have are often beyond our abilities to act on them. Just as Toyota and lean overcame the more simplistic General Motors, the organizations that can adapt to complexity and create ways and products that allow us to be agile will succeed and the others will wither. I work with the organizations and people who vote for agility, and who want to work in the midst of complexity.

 Sara Broca:

What Agile software development is in my mind: a toolkit for managers to better communicate, give feedback to the real teams share around problems. For individuals like myself who have been introduced to Agile through different ways, it is easy to see the value of what Agile development methodologies can bring to a team. 

A method must not become a repository to be applied to the letter with an application domain specific, and Agile should not go in that direction. Agile should continue to be an inclusive approach, which is built of good practices of each business to bring real added value.

Josh Nankeivel posted a video blog entry in which he uses a mindmap to express his thoughts on the evolution of Agile beyond just software development, the emergence of dogma and future trends.  

What is the state of agile, and where is it headed? 


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