In last few days a new wave of rant moved through the Internet - few bloggers (it started with Dave Thomas - one of the creators of Agile Manifesto) have decided to announce Agile being dead and, as usually, such statements heat up the discussion pretty quickly. The funny thing is that most of the authors clearly were using this bold statement as an introduction to the discussion about agile approach evolution (not revolution), but many have interpreted it as a rough way to cut the old branch out.

If you’ve missed that completely, you can check here:

For all those who claim that Agile is dead (or should be dead), because it doesn’t work / scale / benefit / lost its meaning / got ninjaed by weasels, etc. I have nothing but a short reminder:

  1. Agile is NOT a methodology, not a prescription, not a process -> at least NOT something to follow “blindly by the book”.

  2. I know it sounds odd, but Agile is a mindset. Check the Agile Manifesto ( again - all that is written here is about priorities: what is more important and what is less. It is very general and maybe that’s why it’s still relevant - all the points, yes, all of them are still valid and up-to-date.

  3. Yes, word Agile has quickly became a buzzword and shitloads of consultants use it as a tag for their work without even understanding what does it really mean. Live with that. They will do it with EVERY word that has any commercial potential -> this is how it works and will always work.

Back to Agile being supposedly dead: you can say that (for instance) Scrum sucks, because in some cases it fails - there are some environments that don’t adapt it well due to some constraints (external waterfall-based dependencies, completely different structure that persists the change, etc.), there are some scaling approaches that claim to be Agile but fail even at being Agile (like SAFE) -> you can really, really say they suck and you may be right, but:

  • those few methods that didn’t work in some circumstances are some implementations of Agile paradigm and them failing doesn’t mean that whole Agile fails

  • if you expect one method to work everywhere and every time, you are really going to be disappointed: that’s why Agile is Agile - it’s about adapting to the particular reality: reality of the organization, reality of the project, reality of the product.

  • being Agile is not a fixed state - it’s about following some kind of ephemeral path -> most likely you won’t be able stay in the middle of it all the time, but your job is to try to be as close as possible as frequently as possible.

Agile is NOT dead. It will adapt, collect the experiences and self-improve. To fit even better.