Saturday, May 12, 2007

Watered Down Agile Development

I find myself torn between being a supporter of Agile and being associated with the unprofessional aspects of it. For example, we all (or at least most of us I hope) know that discussing religion and politics in a professional environment is not a good idea. Yet that is often what many discussions about Agile seem like.

Actually, that just gave me idea. Next time you find yourself in such a discussion, you could say "hey, let's keep religion out of this" with a smile (or smiley) and try to steer things back to a professional level.

In the end, Agile is either a good idea or it is not and it will be adopted at its own pace in its own way. Trying to force it won't help. Representing it in a professional and appealing way will help.

Some folks complain that Agile is becoming “watered down.” Agile may evolve in ways that we as individuals don't care for. Oh well! But if it is a good idea, it will be adopted. It may be that it is adopted in a watered down fashion. Oh well! If it is adopted in a watered down fashion world-wide, that's actually progress. From that will come the next wave of adoption. And so it goes.

Consider refactoring and continuous integration. These are very widely adopted practices and aren't really even associated with Agile by many (most?) of the people using them, yet they did originate with Agile. You could say that people that are using only those practices are using "watered down" Agile. Is that a bad thing? I would say it is a very good thing. It provides more support for adoption of additional practices and helps to accelerate adoption of Agile in general.

1 comment:

The M Show said...

You're dead on with this. Gartner calls this "the trough of disillusionment". The hardcore fans are angry it's watered down and not spreading fast enough, and the slow majority has not caught on yet.

There's real benefit there, so they will.