After reading the post from javacodegeeks 4 Warning Signs that Agile Is Declining, I started writing a comment and then noticed I had too much stuff to say, so decided to write something about it instead. I think that agile is far from declining, but that it’s starting to evolve and will keep growing.
Agile principles have stuck
For the last couple of years many people and companies have taken the time to get informed on what agile is or even get coaching on a particular method such as SCRUM or Kanban. Even if they might not be applying a specific method at its full scale, or don’t remember all the things they learned, they do remember some of the main key agile principles:
- Iterative and collaborative approach
- Adaptation to change
- Focus on individuals
- Working software / approved concept
With these key agile principles and with the methods in mind, teams are then able to find the agile way that works for them. Information age mentions that “organizations are using Agile in all manner of different ways: more mix it with other methodologies (35%) and combine elements of the various forms of Agile (39%) than stick exclusively to one particular variant (27%).”
Agility has created new agile methodologies
Those who have fully applied an agile method such as SCRUM or Kanban, may have realized that it’s not perfect for them. And that’s ok. It’s normal that after a couple of years, people start looking back at how they’ve been working and noticing that it’s not all perfect. They need to evolve and by doing so they are being agile. That’s why we are starting to hear more and more of these: Scrum-but. Scragilefall, scrumban, waterscrum, wagile… People are taking what they’ve learned from various methods and being agile by simply keeping agile principles in their new adapted method.
Agile is getting so popular that it’s even being labeled as mainstream. Forrester research states that “in the past few years, Agile processes have not only gained increasing adoption levels; they have also rapidly joined the mainstream of development approaches. And while more organizations are adapting to Agile conventions, Agile is also adapting to the workplace. Perhaps the clearest sign of the mainstreaming of Agile is the abandonment of orthodoxy: Teams are puzzling out the mix of methodologies and combining them to fit within their organizational realities, blending Agile and non-Agile techniques and practices to create a hybrid methodology that fits larger organizations.”
IT Agile idealists might be frustrated to see agile methods being transformed, thus making things less ideal for developers. Instead, shouldn’t they be longing for it to become mainstream to have agile principles influencing other areas of the business?
The future: Agile also outside of Software?
I believe one way agile will keep evolving and getting better is by having non-IT groups adopt agile values in their work.
Mike Griffiths, wrote that “Agile adoption outside of software is nothing new–it dates back very close to the origin of today’s agile methods, predating the term ‘agile’. However, what is new and noteworthy is the rate and scale of non-software agile adoption being witnessed today. Now–as more companies than ever are exposed to agile methods in their IT practices–these methods are being employed beyond the regular IT domain.”
Also, Information Age notes that: Other organisations are even adapting Agile for use outside IT. British Airways, for example, which adopted Agile for software development in 2008, has since applied elements of the methodology in developing ideas for new revenue streams
Instead of being upset by the fact that agile principles are being altered, today’s agile practitioners should be the ones to lead the way in making agility a norm in new types of teams and organizations. That’s why Planbox has tried hard from the start to promote this philosophy, by making the tool not only useful for IT teams, but also for groups outside of software. If we all push in this direction, and try to make agile mature, diversify and solidify instead of fighting for methods to stay as they are, we’ll make sure agile thrives as a way of doing things that focuses on people, collaboration, adaptation and purpose.
So what do you think: Decline or Evolution? Let us know in the comments!Magali