Now that the holidays are over, it is time to get start the 2014 work year. My inquires in 2013 showed a continuing interest in agile. Changes included an increased interest in strategic agile development. While I still talk to development mangers wanting to convince their management that agile is a good idea, I had an increase I the number of managers telling me that they have been told to do agile asking me how to implement it.
This raises the question: Can agile be driven from above? Too often these directives result in either window dressing or worse, the route adoption of a cookie cutter framework that does not fit an organization. Frameworks and maturity models often follow into this trap. They become ever increasing lists to ensure that a the “correct” practice is being followed. This often results in a long checklist that inhibits effectiveness instead of fostering it.
The agile manifesto www.agilemanifesto.org was not constructed as a framework, it is a set of values and principles. The challenge facing agile in the coming year is to make sure that all agile initiatives are evaluate on these values and principles, not a set of prescribed activities.