Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Macro View of Agile

Despite the fact that the agile manifesto was signed over ten years ago agile adoption remains uneven.

One manifestation of this is how often I have clients ask me for even a simple overview of what I mean by agile.

I decided to put together this simple map that shows how the pieces fit together.

IMHO lean thinking and tools like A3 and Kanban tie all of the agile pieces together, and help organizations think and behave with agile principles in mind.

Supplementary agile practices like BDD and DDD integrate modeling with agile practices to help core agile team based approaches.

Core agile methods like XP are just that, and create the foundation for delivery excellence.

Technology focused movements like DevOps focus on upping the quality of from a technical perspective.

And while some will groan, RUP or UP provides some good lifecycle stages, roles etc,etc that can help scale agile.


  1. I applaud any attempt to explain Agile to non-technical folks. But this misses the crux of Agile *entirely*. Agile is not about practices, except in as much as they lead to changes in behaviour, and thence to a change in mindset.

    - Bob @FlowChainSensei

  2. Bob,

    Describing agile "as something that changes behavior" is not very useful IMHO.

    CMMI is about changing behavior, so is six sigma, so is RUP, so is ITIL etc, etc...

    What makes agile unique is the set of practices that promote high feedback, without these practices agile is just motherhood, which doesn't impress most conservative organizations..

    For behavior to change, work needs to change, for work to change new practices need to be introduced, agile has great practices.

    Practices aren't everything, but they are important, I don't always lead with principles because they dont always resonate, often people want to know what is actually different in what they do.

    I appreciate and understand your perspective on leasing with principles and behavior, that's not what I'm trying to show here, this is something to provide as an alternate to the practice map that typical PMI, CMMI , ITIL, heads show. I need to do this so that people can compare the different perspectives using a common taxonomy.

    Sorry if this isn't the crux of agile for you, explaining things in a perspective they can understand is more important to me.