Babies are the opposite of Agile..  They want what they want when they want it!

Babies are the opposite of Agile. They want what they want when they want it!

In previous Daily Process Thoughts we discussed Agile values, principles, behaviors and characteristics. We have defined Agile and provided a partial structure to recognize Agile. Partial, because we have focused on the positive point-of-view. However, it is sometimes it is important to understand what Agile is not, rather than what it is. There are numerous things that Agile is not . . . like waterfall or the Boehm Spiral Model, but those are obvious. The less obvious things that Agile isn’t are more worrisome because they can generate half-truths and falsehoods.  And as with any topic that is new (or newish) where there is a lot of passion, half-truths and falsehoods abound. Here are seven things that Agile is not:

  • Ad-hoc – Agile methods have patterns and structure.
  • Never Ending Stand-up Meetings – Stand-up meetings are brief and focused on planning, rather than run-on status meetings.
  • Code and Run – Simply put, testing is part of Agile.  Functions with defects are not done and are not shippable.
  • No Documentation – Documentation that is necessary is done.
  • No Discipline – Agile teams need to hold each other accountable for delivering the work, following the process and leveraging relevant standards.
  • No Process – Agile frameworks and methodologies leverage processes.
  • No Planning – Agile planning happens over and over and over but in very small bites.
  • Only Scrum – There is more to Agile than Scrum. The most common hybrid is Scrum for project management and xP (Extreme) for technical practices.

Agile is a not a lot of things, but Agile is the yin to the yang of the characteristics of Agile. Agile done correctly is disciplined and planned.  It isn’t ad-hoc, but rather a measured approach to delivering functional software.