I spent yesterday roaring across Spain at 300+ km/hr. As I looked out the window I am more convinced that we are entering the post-agile age.  The new age, so ripe with promise, is an age of enlightened continuous process improvements that challenges us all to be more than we were yesterday.  Today we revisit …. (more…)

 

The Agile movement was built on a premise that skilled, motivated individuals working on teams could self-organize and self-manage in order to deliver value and make their customers happy. Acceptance of this premise means that leaders, who are generally already successful, need to change how they make decisions on a day-to-day basis. Changing how successful leaders and managers work is hard.  Some organizations and leaders have been able to change how they worked and embraced a systems-thinking view of their organization. This change has shifted significant levels of decision making from middle management into the team. The change in the approach to thinking and decision-making Agile is based on several criteria: (more…)

Brand-driven ecosystems set down roots.

Brand-driven ecosystems set down roots.

Certifications are only one of the drivers that are hardening the boundaries between Agile techniques, frameworks and the outside world.  Brand ecosystems, made up of proprietary methods, tools, and/or tool suites also tend to contribute to hardening of boundaries, which slows innovation and the evolution of how teams and organizations work. The slowing of innovation and evolution of how work is done is a marker of the beginning of the end of all of the great movements of the past.  In this case, specifically the hardening of brand ecosystems marks the turning point of Agile as a movement and perhaps a hint that the dawn of the post-agile age is nigh.

Brand-driven ecosystems carry many of the same upsides and downsides that were discussed for certifications. Most Agile brands are based on or implemented by a tool or suite of tools.  Three most critical selling points for brand-driven ecosystems are:

  •        Structure helps teams and organizations to behave. 
  •        Standard methods are a mechanism to document structure.
  •        Tools implement standard methods and approaches. 

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Tattoo artists are a profession that requires certification.

Tattoo artists are a profession that requires certification.

In a recent conversation on the Post-Agile Age with Ira Weinstein, Scrum master, architect and more, I pointed out that the end of Agile as movement did not mean that people would stop doing stand-ups, test driven development or even retrospectives, but rather the basis for adoption was no longer driven by the values and principles espoused by the Agile Manifesto. This change in the reason why people are adopting Agile changes the practices that get adopted and the value derived through Agile practices.  The discussion of a Post-Agile Age is not an esoteric exercise.  During our discussion, we examined the impact of the development of more and stronger prescriptive norms that define what is or more accurately what isn’t Agile. (more…)

Follow the leader?

Follow the leader?

I had a conversation with Mauricio Aguiar of ti Metricas earlier this week discussing the cycle of change in software development.  We decided that in the end there is only one absolute.  The person paying the bill wants value, always more value.  The Agile movement is just the current iteration cycle in the search for the tools to deliver more value. The movement marked and driven by the Agile Manifesto has had a great run.  Agile, as a movement, provided a new framework to think about how work should or could be approached. However, the movement driven by values and principles has faded to be replaced by a focus on frameworks and techniques.  This new focus is neither good nor bad, but rather an evolution and step towards the next big thing. There are four major factors that contributed to the end of Agile as movement: (more…)