The Agility Code – Deciphering Contemporary Agile Discourse

Did you know, why despite everywhere you go you can hear about Agile Transformations in progress, but there is so little agreement about its achievements? The truth is, that many of us in Agile communities understand the word Agile differently. Based on our beliefs, we address different issues, and we label Agile to benefit from the ride on the popular wave. For some, the Agile relates to software development. For others, it is a system of work addressing the speed of delivery. And some look at it holistically as an effective arrangement of modern based organization. Therefore our “transformations” address different aspects of our organizational life. It also causes misunderstandings and false expectations which eventually lead to fails.

A great piece of work came to my table written by David Crowe, BCS committee member for Agile Methods. He analyzed selected works and their language used for describing Agile and distilled out of them the most common perspectives and categories – Historical Inevitability of Agile, Corruption of Agile, Insufficiency of Agile, Locus of Control, and Organizational Agility. David goes deeper while trying to understand what are the main features, what do they mean, and who are the typical representatives for each category. A nice analysis of the reasons why we have difficulties understanding each other.

I found this work interesting because it can highlight the hidden assumptions and expectations of various groups for doing good and doing badly. It also gives us an idea of the evolution of Agile and what might be possible expectations or future directions.

Finally, I was delighted to learn my work was also included for this analysis among such names as authors of Agile Manifesto, W. Deming, S. Denning, E. Goldratt, R. Jeffries, F. Laloux, C. Lambdin, C. Matts, W. Royce, D. Snowden, H. Takeuchi, or C. Wright to name just a few.

I provide the link to the abstract. The full version is available upon demand from David.


About author: Michal Vallo helps managers to understand agile techniques, benefit from its adoption to their organizations and consequently radically improve organizational overall performance. He is principal, agile trainer, coach and manager at Aguarra, founding member of Agilia community and organizer of Agilia Conference / Agile Management Congress in Olomouc, Agilia Budapest Conference and Agilia Prague conference.