I’ve been researching material to support an article on my company blog entitled “Agile Dictators” and it left me thinking about how Agile started in the first place.
The more I reflect on this, the more I am left feeling that Agile is actually a mutation in software development and this is one of the major reasons why Agile is so difficult to master. I’m wondering whether agile would ever naturally evolve in a small team left to their own devices and I simply can’t envisage it. Of course, this will now remain an academic hypothesis since Agile has now stamped it’s influence indelibly on the DNA of software development.
Software development as a craft suffers from unnecessary complexity and I fear that Agile, which initially thrived in simplifying (or removing) this complexity, is now becoming itself encompassed in unnecessary complexity. Despite agreeing with much of the sentiment of the software craftmanship manifesto I just can’t bring myself to sign up to it yet. I struggle to see the benefit of more fuzzy aspirational statements and would prefer to see a clarity of vision and roadmap to achieving it.
Fundamentally Agile is fantastic, but sadly the passionate discussions, raging debates and conflicting methodologies don’t clarify anything. If Agile doesn’t clearly define itself soon I fear yet another mutation may take centre stage and Agile will end up being just a blip (albeit a very significant blip, where we gained sight) in the evolution of software development.