Jim Highsmith, one of the signers of the Agile Manifesto looked back at the last 10 years of Agile and tells us to continue on. Agile will grow through these 10 years and move into the teenage years. Any parent of a teenager will tell you that this is a time for a teenager to grow, change, and make many mistakes. This is exactly what Agile will do in the next ten years.
Innovators, Imitators, Idiots
“First come the innovators, who see opportunities and create genuine value. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. Sometimes they improve on the original idea; often they tarnish it. Last come the idiots, whose avarice undermines the innovations they are trying to exploit.” – Warren Buffet on the American financial meltdown
So how does Jim Highsmith suggest we make sure we’re not surrounded by idiots in the next coming years? He suggests four things:
- Innovate. I’m encouraged by the continuous innovation I see in Agile: DevOps, continuous delivery, the conversations over technical debt, Lean, Kanban, Agile/Adaptive Leadership, and more.
- Idealism vs. Practicality. As Agile permeates into larger organizations; we have to focus on both idealism and practicality. Many people don’t care much about esoteric arguments — they care about results. Idealism and innovation are absolutely necessary for a vibrant movement, but they need to be balanced with a dose of practicality in organizational transitions.
- Reinvigorate. The power and attractiveness of the Agile movement lies in its values as expressed in the Agile Manifesto and the Declaration of Interdependence. The more we can emphasize the dual importance of both doing Agile (practices) and being Agile (values), the better we can move forward on a more solid foundation.
- Unify vs. Splinter. As any movement grows, there are times when it tends to splinter and times (sometimes) when it unifies. I appreciated Mike Cohn’s recent Scrum Alliance update in which he said, “We want Scrum teams to look beyond the Scrum framework and experience the great ideas found in our sister approaches of Lean, Extreme Programming, Kanban, Feature-Driven Development, DSDM, Crystal, Adaptive, and more.” Efforts like this to bring the Agile/Scrum/Lean/Kanban/etc. communities together, rather than continue to splinter further, leaves less space for the idiots to exploit.
I couldn’t agree more, we need to keep Agile going in the right direction. If you’ve ever watched Speed Racer, you’ll know that he keeps his eyes on the goal, race smart, race fast, win! Keep Agile going, go go!
[HT: Dr. Dobbs]