Originally, agile meant valuing individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. Agile was about cross-functional teams working closely together to innovate new products or solutions that couldn’t have been developed any other way.

These days agile seems to be about

  • improving productivity,
  • reducing work in process,
  • Increasing velocity in any way possible,
  • holding teams accountable for finishing everything they say they will, and,
  • doing just enough that an organization can call itself agile without really being agile.

Many of these are good things. But they are the candy manufacturer version of agile: sweeter and easier to sell.

But, ultimately, these are as unrelated to the original meaning of agile ….

As you work to transform your organization or team with agile, be sure you remain true its principles. That’s the surest way to succeed with agile,

Mike Cohn
1 Nov 2018