My focus is on making software, coaching Agile/Scrum teams, and being a husband and father--definitely not on blogging--so please do not expect very frequent posts here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

We still value the “things on the right”!

In a recent article reexamining the Agile Manifesto, Derwyn Harris criticizes the fourth Agile value, which values responding to change over following a plan: “The volume of software being developed today dramatically outpaces that of 2001 and the Agile Manifesto doesn't address that reality. There is a notion in the Manifesto that we're trying to move away from planning, away from negotiation.”

The author only criticizes that we value responding to change more than following a plan.  However, she is only criticizing a straw man.  Valuing responding to change doesn't mean we avoid planning—a disclaimer right at the bottom of the manifesto itself clarifies this!  Responsible Agile teams plan much, perhaps even more than in traditional software development. Agile planning needs to happen throughout product development and to accommodate the more important value of responding to change.  

The Agile Manifesto “doesn’t address the reality” of how to plan for complex, fast-moving projects because it was never meant to address it.  The Manifesto doesn’t try to give us “values” that we can apply to address every trend and movement of how software is made—it simply provides four values that historically have been secondary and makes them primary.  You can—and often should—uphold other values that the manifesto didn’t anticipate. 

If Harris means to criticize some naive "Agile" teams for failure to plan, then that is fair game.  I would join him!

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