Showing posts from August, 2010

Re-Imagining Agile part 2: Designing from the outside in

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. – Henry Ford In the first part of the Re-Imagining Agile series I wrote about some of the ideas Agile is based on. The most basic one is a theory about human behavior and motivation, Theory Y. I wrote that most business organizations are designed based on a different set of assumptions, Theory X. Moving to Agile therefore represents a paradigm shift, a change in how we think. Fig 10: The paradigm shift. Figure 10 illustrates the shift in paradigms. As you can see, the shift is much more extensive than switching from Theory X to Theory Y. You might wish to compare this figure with the reading map in Figure 1 (in Part 1 of this series). While it is difficult to make the transition, it is quite possible. One organization that has made this shift is the U.S. Marine Corps. They did something really sneaky: They kept the name Command & Control, but they changed the definition of the word control ! ...decentralized con

Re-imagining Agile part 1: Why it shouldn't be done, and how to do it

There is a long running thread at LinkedIn, well over 200 posts now, about the principles of Agile software development. The issue is whether the principles can be improved, whether they should be improved, and how that might be done. I have written about the thread before , but there are still a couple of things mulling about in my head. I got into a real writing fit this time, so I have split the article into parts. This is the first. More will follow. I wrote in the thread that, technically speaking, I do believe the Agile principles can be improved upon. I also wrote that I believe it is a bad idea to try: I do not know anyone who has the mandate to change the basic principles of Agile. The original signatories might, but I doubt they want to. There is an existing body of work based on the current version of the principles. That body of work will not be redesigned just because someone releases The Principles of Agile 2.0. Scrum won't change, Extreme Programming won't