Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Agile Manifesto for the Enterprise

The Agile Manifesto is rightly held in high regard, but most practitioners understand it was a response to the prevailing environment in 2001. In fact I note Scott Ambler attempted a rework of the manifesto in 2010. Specifically Scott replaced software with solution; customers with stakeholders. And in context with the Principles behind the Manifesto, he suggested improvement of the overall IT ecosystem be taken into consideration and that Agile can benefit from the Lean Principles.  

But many organizations are finding it hard to scale Agile in the enterprise and much of this difficulty is because of the adherence to specific Agile guidance. In developing the Agile Enterprise Workshop (more on this very soon) I feel it’s imperative to have clarity of how we interpret the Manifesto. So I am using Scott’s work as a basis for addressing key enterprise issues as follows:

Individuals and interactions with lean processes and tools
Working services and solutions with essential documentation
Stakeholder collaboration with agile contracts
Responding to change is intrinsic to the plan
Delivered agile architecture which reuses and evolves enterprise frameworks and patterns

I’m afraid this renders redundant the preference for the value of items on the left over items on the right.  In addition the introduction of architecture, whilst it may be highly controversial, is essential at enterprise level, where the level of inter-dependency is so high, and the cost of delivering yet more legacy is unacceptable. Strangely the preference of left over right might actually be reasonably applied to the architecture point.

As Scott rightly said, “We’re agile – things evolve, including manifestos”

All comments appreciated!

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