My recent thoughts on estimation reminded me that Agile and the #NoEstimates component of it are about transforming the way we work, not just improving it.
This brings me to a deep concern with the state of “Agile” in the world today. “Agile” is really intended to change how work is done. In practice, well-meaning people try to add a little dash of Agile to the way they work already. “Our context is different”, says everyone, everywhere. Well, I’ve worked on everything from targeting nuclear weapons to programming interactive games, and I’m here to tell you that your context isn’t that different.
Unfortunately, coaches and authors of good will all over the world have treated “Agile” as salt and pepper, using a dash of it here and there, sometimes even serving up an “Agile” entrée once in a while. We’re left with words like “Agile” and “Scrum” too often referring to a watered-down approach that’s not much different from what has gone before.
And it was done with the best of will, by brilliant people, who just didn’t quite pick up on the whole idea. Often, that makes me sad.
What makes me happy is the spots where people continue to try to do it more consistently with the values and principles I admire. A movement like #NoEstimates is an example. #TakeBackAgile is another. The pockets of Extreme Programming around London and other locations are another. The work of Steve Denning to open the eyes of the larger organization is another.
There’s good stuff out there. I try to be part of it. I hope that you will as well.