Understanding Agile

This category contains topics associated with understanding Agile at a deeper level.  Many Agile training courses and Agile certifications only teach and test the understanding of Agile at a very mechanical level.  This typically results in people doing Agile in a very rigid and ritualistic fashion which is exactly the opposite of what was intended with Agile.

To really do Agile effectively, you have to understand the principles and values behind it at a deeper level in order to adapt the approach to fit a given situation.  That results in a much more flexible approach that is optimized to fit the nature of the problem as it should be.

In addition, it is often necessary to combine an Agile/Scrum approach with more of a plan-driven approach to fit a given situation.  That also requires a deeper understanding of Agile.  Attempting to combine “Agile” and Waterfall” at a mechanical level without understanding the principles behind each of those approaches at a deeper level would be doomed to failure.

Another situation that is becoming increasingly common is the need to scale Agile to large, complex enterprise-level projects.  In that environment, there is a need to fit the Agile approach to the company’s business environment in a way that is very well-aligned with the company’s business objectives.  Simply forcing the company to be more agile may not be the best approach.

Agile History and Archaeology

Have you ever thought about how Agile history has evolved and the broad archaeology behind what direction it is going in? I recently responded to a question about Extreme Programming (XP) on a discussion forum and I made the comment that I thought that the usage of XP has been largely superseded by Scrum. Someone …

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What is Agile? How Would You Define Agile? What Does Agile Mean?

What is Agile

How do you define Agile? I’ve seen a lot of discussions where people have attempted to answer the question of “What is Agile?” with very different answers.  Do You Really Mean Scrum? First, there’s a lot of confusion about Agile and Scrum. Scrum is so widely-used as an Agile approach that when many people say …

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Is Agile Just a Development Process?

Is Agile Just a Development Process?

Is Agile just a development process?  There is still a big gap between the Agile community and the project management profession although much progress is starting to be made to close that gap: There seem to be a lot of project managers who are in “denial” about the influence of Agile on the project management …

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Agile and Six Sigma – Are They Complementary to Each Other?

Project Development and Project Development

I recently responded to a question on an online discussion that asked “Are there companies that use Agile and Six Sigma?”.  This raises an interesting question of “Are Agile and Six Sigma really complementary to each other?”. How would you go about blending the two approaches? Agile and Six Sigma – Potentially Conflicting Approaches There …

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What is the Real Essence of Agile? What Are the Real Advantages?

What is the Essence of Agile?

It’s apparent to me that a lot of people have gotten so heavily focused on the mechanics of how Agile is implemented that they’ve lost sight of the big picture of what the real essence of Agile is all about.  The term “Agile” has taken on a number of different meanings today that are largely based …

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Mixing Lean and Agile – Is Lean in Conflict with Agile?

I’ve participated in several discussions and presentations lately where the subject of Lean and Agile came up and I think the relationship of the two is very interesting. If you pursued each of those approaches to the extreme and tried maximize what you would get out of each independently, they would tend to pull you …

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What’s the Future of Agile? Is There Something Else Coming Next?

The Agile Bandwagon

I recently saw a discussion on an online forum where an individual raised the question of “What’s the Future of Agile?” Someone speculated that the next big methodology might be Lean I’ve also seen some people suggest that Kanban will become the next big methodology I don’t believe either of those things to be correct. …

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Product Development Flow and Agile

An understanding of the principles of product development flow and Agile can provide an objective basis for understanding how to maximize the efficiency of a product development process. There is a lot of “religious fervor” about product development methodologies and in particular Agile versus Waterfall. I still remember a quote from one of Dean Leffingwell’s …

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What Is the Agile Scrum Master Role?

What Is the Scrum Master Role?

I was asked to put together a clear definition of an Agile Scrum Master role for a company I am working with that is new to Agile. I think the standard “textbook” definition of what a Scrum Master does is limited and needs some interpretation and elaboration. It also needs to be expanded with some …

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