Agile and Waterfall.
Agile is the topic of many blogs just like this. People will tell you horror stories about their experiences with Agile. People spend hours at a time researching and debating about which is the better development method. Some people say waterfall development is a thing of the past. There are so many variations of Agile at this point, a visual of all the varieties looks like the Tokyo subway map. The list goes on.
In today’s world, the ‘preferred’ method of development is Agile. I’m trained in various methods of agile product management, read the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, and worked on my fair share of agile projects. But as I continue to work on projects, the same question keeps popping up in my head.
Is your(my) project truly Agile?
While Agile methodology has expanded vastly since it’s introduction, it is the idea behind the words of the manifesto that cause me to pause when I think about the Agile nature of a project.
The manifesto itself does not describe anything overly complicated. It does not layout any guidelines for what Agile development is supposed to ‘look like’. Simply put, after many software development projects, this group of people found that a different set of values than what was previously the norm.
It talks to the notion of conversations between people over rigid processes. The goal of things working over detailed documentation about how it should work. The idea of collaboration, interaction, and adapting to change over negotiations and outlined plans. While all aspects are important to product development, this group found that changing the balance allowed for better development.
To that, I say life is a balance. Projects are no different. The balance of people will be the big factor because everyone’s perspective on development is unique. Because of my interpretation, I believe that if you focus on communication & interaction, responding to change, and respond to change you are operating in an Agile way.
So again, I ask, is your project truly agile?