Agile was initially developed to help improve the delivery of software, but it’s since made it’s way into other areas of business.
It was developed in 2001 by a group of software devs in Utah. They got together to talk about ways to improve the software development lifecycle and, thus, Agile was born.
However, the term is now batted around to the point where it has lost most of it’s purpose and meaning.
Where did it all go wrong?
Around 14 years after the Agile Manifesto was published, the agile application delivery practices went off track. What was intended to be a collaborative, adaptive and customer-centric approach to development is now an over-used buzzword.
The issue is that agile requires developers to think and be adaptive, but the majority would prefer to follow a restrictive set of rules for a set of practices because it’s safer. As technology is continuously changing with a short history – in retrospect – it means methods haven’t been practiced for a substantial length of time which gives real peace of mind.
Additionally, other early implications that agile was no longer an option occurred in 2014 when Dave Thomas published a seminal article”.
Dave isn’t raising awareness that agile methodology is no longer viable, but highlighting how companies are mis-interpreting the process.
How can we embrace agile?
If you’re a software developer, it’s important to keep in mind that taking an agile approach to software development works well when you’re following the rules of a SCRUM playbook; continuously adapting and collaborating on your approacch.
But it’s important to keep in mind that it’s one thing to say you’re “agile” and to follow a SCRUM playbook. It’s something entirely different to understand and implement a set of agile principles across your organization, where you embrace the full values and mindset of agility.
If you’re a business trying to embrace agile for other means, it’s probably best to stop or change the terminology you use. You can certainly utilise functions from the methodology, by implementing a set of agile principles but saying you follow a truly agile methodology is not necessarily justified.
Is agile dead?
In short, you could argue, “agile is dead” but only in a sense that people no longer use it in the way it was originally intended. Agile is specific to software development, containing a list of practises within the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.
But now, businesses all over the world will work on a project and adapt it at various stages, having a very fluid approach to delivery of a service, but this doesn’t make it ‘agile’.
Agile is a highly effective method for developing software because software is continually changing. What was the latest technology today is already yesterday’s news.
At Amdaris, we use agile to develop the latest software for our clients. We take them on their own development lifecycle to ensure that the final product delivered is more than they anticipated; continually embracing the latest technologies.