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Ron Jeffries has been contributing to the online Agile Software Development community, stirring the pot and keeping people honest, as long as there have been Agile forums - maybe longer.  Now, he's offering the Agile community a new resource, an open Agile forum, hoping it will be a brand-neutral, consultant-neutral place, "open to and shared by everyone who is interested in advancing himself or herself in Agile, or in bringing Agile to the world."

InfoQ asked Jeffries: what sparked the creation of yet another forum?

I've been feeling the need for there to be an "Agile" place that is the property of the community, without regard to methodology name, and as close to having no owner or commercial tie as possible. I've long been concerned about the "branding" of Agile, by process name, or by high-profile consultants, including myself. Those things are important, but I'm equally interested in giving Agile a place to belong to everyone. That's at the base of my motivation, certainly.

Since I happened to have the name lying around, I thought I should offer this thing to the community and see what happens.

The new forums are online at Here are the initial topics, with Jeffries' comments:
  • Agile Conferences where you're invited to express thoughts on the conferences that exist and the ones that should exist, to describe changes you would recommend, and most importantly, to find ways to work to make the changes happen.
"As the Agile community grows, I would like to see the conferences serve the needs of as many people as possible, not just the large mass of the conference-going community."
  • Advancing Agile, where you're invited to help find ways to solve more problems in the Agile fashion -- and at the same time to help Agile become more simple, avoiding the Giant Method Syndrome that is in my opinion just what Agile isn't supposed to be.

"As Agile grows, there is tension between 'extending' it to meet the needs of everyone, and keeping it simple enough to keep its core meaning. Both these directions are important, and I'd like for there to be a place where we can try to resolve them."
  • Culture. There, you're invited to help us learn how to fit Agile into existing cultures, and, more importantly in my opinion, how to influence cultures to adopt the values that Agile brings.

"Agile is really about changing business culture to a more collaborative form. I'd like the forum to become a place where we work both sides of the culture issue."
  • Community Announcements. This area allows you to post any announcements you wish to make to the community. Courses you're teaching, sessions you're putting on, whatever. This is the place where your commercial material is welcome.
Right now, there are only the forums on the site, but Jeffries anticipates that with growth there will be a need for more facilities, and he's hoping that future directions for the site will come from participants. He's calling for volunteers to help with administration and moderation (with a light touch), and of course, inviting everyone to register and start talking.

Does this mean he'll be spending less time on the dozens of lists he contributes to? "No, I'll stay active on those. In fact I'm going to try to stay relatively quiet on the new forum, to help it develop its own personality without the impact of my heavy-handed ways. :) "
"I don't really know what any of those questions [the Forum topics] will turn out to mean, or how they'll be answered. And I fully expect that the forum will come up with new questions, and new answers that I haven't even thought of. That's why I set it up. It's not supposed to be my place, it's supposed to be the community's place."
You can read Ron's entire introduction to the Forums on XPmag.

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