“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” When Winston Churchill spoke those words in 1942 he was talking about a turning point in WW2, I am talking about a turning point in agile development.
In my last blog I mentioned that agile has reached its tipping point. My internal indicators – inquiry rate, request for agile workshops, agile vendor briefings and adoption metrics have all shot of the chart. And external indicators, books, blogs, and my personal favorite, pub conversation – all indicate agile is now mainstream.
But that’s only half the story. It’s not simply a mater of greater XP or Scrum adoption. IT organizations are applying Lean and agile practices to their whole SDLC including, architecture, PMO, maintenance and operations. It’s no longer small collocated teams but large distributed projects, mission critical solution and even non IT. For example this week at the Agile 2009 conference I have meet people using Scrum in sales and market, legal departments and to support venture capital funding decisions.
My attendance at Agile 2009 has confirmed my view we have reached a major mile stone. Dr Alistair Cockburn keynote on Tuesday entitled “I Come to Bury Agile, Not to Praise It” was both dramatic and thought provoking. The drama was in the form of a lone bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace” at the start of the presentation followed by Alistair reciting a modified version of “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” from Shakespeare Julius Caesar.
“I come to bury Agile, not to praise it;
The evil methods do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones,
So let it be with Agile.”
Alistair went on to say software engineering in the 21st century will use craft, cooperative game, lean principles and knowledge acquisition. So whilst not burying agile he emphasized what we call agile today is very different from what we called agile 10 years ago. I recommend having a look at Alistair full presentation and related article.