There've been a number of very high profile articles recently that have touted the death knell of Agile (I use the capital A deliberately), so I found this one refreshing.

I find the naysayers in this to be somewhat 'jumping on the bandwagon' in their thinking. I liken it to twitter of the olden days, where 140 characters gave you no room for anything other than a pithy 'If you're doing X, you're doing it wrong - everyone has moved onto Y!'.

So many people focus on the bad parts of Agile, and not agility (deliberate small a). This article gives some great thoughts on that. Confirmation bias not withstanding (it aligns with my world view), there are some key things in this that I thought worth sharing.

Firstly, 'what is the alternative?' - agility isn't about frameworks, it's not about rigidly following anything. It's about the core ideals of the agile manifesto and around us striving to deliver value to our customers on a more predictive, visible, and regular cadence while adapting and improving those approaches when there is opportunity and need to do so. Who realistically wants to go back to pre-agile thinking? Waterfall projects? What would the people spelling the death of agile suggest 'post agile' looks like? When you have teams that are picking and choosing aspects of agile that work for them, creating light weight, process agnostic, and supportive ways of delivering value using the 'agile mindset', what is it realistically that looks better than that?

Secondly - we've all seen it - There is "bad agile(tm)" out there. For those teams that aren't working optimally or have less experience, the improvement opportunities are huge. For those more mature in their knowledge of agile (and I include all facets of agile thinking here - lean, etc. etc.) - of course, gains are going to be far smaller and far less regular, but if the team has something in place that helps them deliver value regularly, then micro optimisation is the best you can hope for.

There's a great quote in the article:

Agile became successful, therefore it is being misquoted, exploited, misrepresented, and misused.

I think this is the crux of it. Success generated following, following generated the opportunity for the snake-oil sales people to move in. "Become certified! It'll make all the difference!" (and then providing an expensive 2 day course on how to pedal that same snake oil). I will hasten to add that Agile certification in and of itself isn't wrong, but certification as a form of endorsement is. The only benefit of certification is to help structure your learning to take you further along the journey towards a mindset that values continuous improvement and agility so that you can deliver to the customer more effectively.

Next steps?

If anyone tells you agile is dead, have them present to you the alternative, and then listen intently. Chances are, they're trying to sell 'agility' (and the values of the agile manifesto) using a slightly different language, with a slightly different sales pitch, in order to deliver upon their own agenda. Thar be dragons!