Should we ease into Agile, or jump in? How fond of being eaten by bears are you?

We should be trying to be successful. We agree, I hope, that our chances of success depend in large part on what we do. Our chances depend on our practices. How quickly–or how slowly–should we adopt practices?

If we look at the map of the continent of all practices, Agile is a region somewhere in the middle, where all those useful practices cluster. We all agree roughly where this region is and have our favorite areas inside it, called XP and Scrum and so on.

Most of us probably agree that the closer a team is to the core of the Agile region, the better things seem to go. Their chances are better as they do more and more of the practices, and do them better.

Today, many teams are out in the wilderness, endangered by bears or worse. I’d like to see them get to safety as quickly as possible. The best way that I know to get to safety is to do as many of the practices as we can, as well as we can, as soon as we can. The more urgent it is to get to safety, the more important it is to add practices briskly rather than ease in to things slowly. If we move too slowly, those bears may get us before we get to safety.