State of Agile 2015

This is a brief comment on the state of agile software development in 2015.

We have humped! It is no longer left-field to use XP, Scrum, or even Kanban; it is the norm. The biggest challenge this presents to us all is that in the mainstream we cannot possibly keep the message as consistent as it was ten years ago. The people selling the pizza back then are leaping into action to sell the diet now and they don’t really care if it works because they’ll get rich doing it anyway (and the poor sucker eating pizza and diet-shake will no doubt be held responsible for the mess they end up in).

Organisations have been eating pizza for the past twenty years while agile was gradually growing out of a collection of lightweight methods. They see these small, flexible, healthy teams and they want that. But they also can’t give up the pizza or beer – and there is no way they can be seen jogging when they spent so long obtaining their giant status-symbol car.

Enter the “quick-fix” diet, with the amazing diet-shake. The promise that you can be that fit and healthy athlete in the advert. And it might even work “as part of a healthy and balanced diet”. If these organisations could stomach a fit and healthy diet, they wouldn’t be throwing the cash at the company promising a no-pain remedy. A 50 calorie shake added to a 5,000 calorie a day intake doesn’t make you better; it makes you worse.

Big companies are used to buying hope from big consultancies – nobody on either side is interested in real change because the people making the decisions are fat, not muscle – and they know it.

That isn’t to say you can’t be big and healthy (or a large yet agile organisation) – but people who are big and healthy didn’t get that way on pizza, beer, and sitting still all day.