Have consultants destroyed the meaning of agileAgile - a dirty word?

Has agile just become a meaningless word that we should all just drop? It used to mean something (I think) - but no more.

The original agile manifesto, while a bit simplistic, gets at the heart of what agile was supposed to be about:

We are uncovering better ways of developing
software by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.

It was a reaction to the fact that formal specification-driven development simply wasn't enabling teams to create software that best solved user needs. It wasn't created as a set of rules, more as a set of principles.

Unfortunately across our industry it has often been reduced to a set of rules - especially with Scrum and all its ceremonies.

I suggest that we drop using the word agile and rather talk about the principles directly. With my background as a user-researcher, I think that user-centred design is one of the best principles.

If we keep the user at the centre (the end-user, the developer, etc.) that can help keep us on the right track.

Article by Ange Tonge - user researcher, product owner and music producer.

Ange Tonge

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