July 2, 2006

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Post-Agilism

I've noticed a few blog posts using the term post-Agilism to describe the small but growing group of members of the Agile Software Development community who are becoming skeptical about the whole Agile with a capital 'a' thingummyjig.

I've been exploring and researching beyond the rather restrictive and dogmatic confines of the Agile Manifesto and the small clutch of methodologies that claim to be Agile. I'm interested in what works, and why. What are agile (with a small 'a') strategies, when should I apply them, and why do they work? Are agile, evolutionary and lean strategies essentially Agile? I don't necessarily think so. Just as I don't believe that Star Trek should mean "not Doctor Who", I'm not convinced that agile should mean "not waterfall". Agile (with a capital 'a') appears to be a marketing convenience. A banner for anyone who isn't with the OMG, ISO or the SEI to huddle together for warmth.

I rather happen to think that the OMG, ISO and the SEI still have some wisdom to offer (okay, maybe not the OMG...)

Just as the Modernists shocked the world with their daring, anti-establishment works of art, science, music and literature at the turn of the 20th century, the Agilists have eschewed conventional wisdom about how to deliver software and have pulled the rug from under those that have spent decades seeking a predictable, mechanical, Newtonian model for the development process.

Modernism did its job. It roused the world from its clockwork slumber and made it possible for a bloke to cut a sheep in half and call it art less than 100 years later.

Post-modernism is what happens after the shock of the new. What do we do with this new found freedom? We are free to select from a pallette of ideas, styles and techniques that is so wide that the difference between pre-modernism and post-modernism is like an intellectual Cambrian explosion.

Post-Agilism is about diversity. It's about being able to cherry pick what works from a very wide range of sources - including those that have been deemed outdated by the Agile community. It's not about dogma. It's about the absence of dogma.

I live in hope that next year will see the first post-Agile conferences, with a whole new set of shocks to outrage me.
Posted 14 years, 6 months ago on July 2, 2006