I know that I might take some heat here, but I’m tired of hearing how Agile is just a mindset, a way of thinking: a collection of principles that should govern how we go about our business. That’s just not good enough. Not for me! Don’t get me wrong – I am a firm believer that to reap the success and benefits from the Agile process, individuals need to embrace these principles. However, embracing the Agile principles alone does not an Agile project make – nor should it imply some type of road to success. These principles need to be embraced hand-in-hand with the Agile practices.
This is about the time I usually like to distinguish between Agile and agile. Please note the capital versus lower-case ‘A’. The latter is an adjective – as in nimble, deft, limber etc. People, organizations and even projects can be, and often will describe themselves as, ‘agile’ (lower-case ‘A’). This has little to do with whether they adopt and implement a set of principles, practices and methods outlined by the Agile process. Agile Projects (noun) have very specific characteristics that encompass not only how individuals communicate, integrate and govern themselves. They refer to how projects are planned, how products are defined, how work is executed and tracked, how measurements are applied, how quality is assured – just to name a few.
Agile presents a different way of doing – not just different ways of thinking!