There was a suggestion that Agile should drop the name Agile.
What just when we're starting to get that name syndicated in our large, cumbersome, domain. No Way.
When someone asks whats in the name, I've started using two pictures.
A traditional approach
and to focus the idea of agile even more, here is a simple phrase.
What do we mean when we say agile? Being able to turn inside the loop of unfolding events.
The person making that statement wasn't some self styled agile thought leader, or the owner of a leading Scrum training organization, or even one of the original appostles of the Agile Manifesto.
It is Dr. Ashton Carter, Under Secretary of Defense in Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, in the Sep/Oct, 2010 of the journal Defense AT&L.
It's not time to go changing anything aroudn a name. It's time to move Agile Software Devloment into the "real" mainstream - the US Department of Defense. If you want to see software intensive systems that MUST respond to emerging and complex environments, then look no further than software intensive weapons and their support systems.
In our domain and context the anchor paradigm for agile is Col Boyd's OOAD
The components of agile are all here. It is itertaive, adaptive, can be made to be incremental, and defines the "loop" processes. But most of all it is "field proven." People can be trained to follow this loop process. People can receive direct feedback when they are not following the loop. The loop focuses on the outcomes of work effort.
In Boyd's paradigm there are three critical success factors applicable to project and program management:
- Insight and vision - without insight and vision there can be no orientation to deal with the present and future.
- Focus and direction - without focus and direct - implicit or explicit - there can be neither harmony of effort nor initiative for vigorous effort.
- Adaptability - implies variety and rapidity. Without variety and rapidity, one can not cope with changing and unforeseen circumstances.
Boyd used this paradigm in warfare, focused on fighter aircraft air-to-aor combat. But the concepts are directly applicable to the "combat" of getting the product out the door in the presence of an emerging environment of chaging requirements, emerging technology, internal and external risk, and the politics of people when they are connected to money.