Agile Quitter


The other day my friend Aslam Khan wrote a post on Facebook about a talk he had held at Agile Africa 2018, and he wrote that this might be his “farewell to the agile community”

This resonated with me, since I’ve long felt that agile is no longer where I want to be. As much as I still believe in the original premise of agile and like teaching people how to think about undeterministic processes, most companies these days are looking for improvement without doing any meaningful change. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised as fifteen years ago agile was still an early adopter business, these days we’re dealing with the late majority and laggards trying to adopt some version of “scaled” agile.

After a few contacts with it, I do believe that scaled agile is asking the wrong question. Agile shouldn’t adapt to large organizations, large organizations should adapt to agile. Maybe that is happening somewhere, but not where I’ve been.

I’ve actively turned down agile coaching jobs the last couple of years, instead opting for technical assignments. The last talks I’ve given at agile conferences has been quite critical of the state of the agile community.

Inspired by Aslam I wrote the Agile Quitters Manifesto. It’s a joke, it’s heavily polarizing, and it needs to be that way.

I have come to realize that I’ve quit the community and industry that is agile. I will continue to strive for XP style development, build a sustainable workplace and build stuff that’s valuable by whatever measure is important. But I don’t feel like I’m part of the agile community anymore. That party ended a long time ago.