The Roots of Agility

Rob Myers

What we mean by Agile is becoming less and less clear. Rob Myers shares sixteen years of history and observation, noting the amazingly diverse ideologies and practices that people now include under this umbrella term. Agile started with the earliest notions of iterative-and-incremental, inspect-and-adapt principles and practices from Scrum. It now includes the intensive engineering disciplines of XP that have recently branched off into the Software Craftsmanship movement. Along the way, agile grafted in lean principles and saw the flowering of the elegantly simple Kanban approach. And those are just the more obvious adaptations. Rob explores the sensitive but pivotal observations that agile is little more than project management or a certification program to some—and almost a religion to others. He provides his perspective on why this seemingly chaotic churn of values, practices, and metaphors is not a bad thing, and how we can navigate the intertwining disciplines to decide what to embrace. Whether these are the early foundational taproots of agility or the latest innovative branches, Rob examines the value of keeping an open—and simultaneously critical—mind.

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