Sorry, I’m Afraid We’re Fresh Out of Agile

Agile is not a nounAgile is not a noun

I read that ^ somewhere on the innerwebs so it must be true. If you don’t believe me, look “agile” up in a respectable dictionary.

Here’s what I find:

[aj-uh l, -ahyl] adjective
1. quick and well-coordinated in movement; lithe
2. active; lively
3. marked by an ability to think quickly; mentally acute or aware

Agile is an adjective:  a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.

Lacking nouness, “agile” is incapable of standing by itself. It is not something you can buy at Ye National Cheese Agile Emporium.

As an adjective, agile instead names attributes, and the Manifesto for Agile Software Development elaborates what those are by using four value pairs and twelve principles.

These attributes describe a way of moving through experiences, a way of being, a way of embracing a mindset conducive to continual change, constant experimentation, experiencing successes and failures. Joys and sorrows. And all the while making everything visible.

Attributes of agility

Four values and twelve principles might make it seem quite simple, yet in the complex world in which we move, there are an infinite number of ways of approaching the application of these 4+12 ideas.

Which means an infinite number of opportunities for someone to try to sell you something: a framework, a method, a noun. “Here, buy our Wensleydale-Team-Framework and it will reduce your complexity, downsize your risk, increase your learning cycles.”

I’m sorry. Agile is not something anyone can sell you.  “I’m, a-fraid we’re fresh out of red Leicester, sir.”

Join the discourse

But perhaps you’ll find a bit a rogue cheddar if you join the conversation on as we share our trials and tribulations on the path of creation, delivery, and refinement of value.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top