Agile is not Ad Hoc!


30 August, 2018

#WhyShaiWhy [Videos] Agile

No offense to the founding members, but the word “agile” isn’t really a good word to have used for the methodology. Let me ask you, what comes into your mind when you hear this?

You see, what I found as an Agile Coach is that more often than not, if someone’s bringing me into their organisation, but hasn’t really done research on what Agile Methodology is, they get confused and surprised to realise that Agile is not “responsive”.

And by responsive, these people just really mean that they want an ad hoc methodology than an Agile one.

It’s a misconception that anyone could easily fall for. The word “agile” already has a meaning. When people think about agile, they’re thinking about the dictionary definition. In some cases that means flexibility and responsiveness.

Unfortunately, in an Agile software development methodology, flexibility and responsiveness are high on the list but they’re not necessarily the end-all and be-all. Agile doesn’t mean presenting immediate reaction to unanticipated changes. You can’t just go to your team and say, “I want this done tomorrow,” even though that tends to be how people perceive Agile to be.

So if you are going through an Agile transition, be careful about using the terminology because there’s a whole bunch of stuff that underlies that very loaded word that you want to be careful about.

Do some due diligence. Really jump into it and understand what Agile is: how it works, why it works the way it works–where it fails, even.

Because Agile fails, guys!

It doesn’t work everywhere. It’s not a methodology that magically fits any and all kinds of organisation.

So when you use the word Agile, do not think ad hoc. Do not think responsive. Do not think flexible. Think “people and processes”, think “customer collaboration”, think “working software”, think “responding to change”.

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