Friday, January 24, 2014

#idefineagile Winner

Agility, by its very nature, is hard to pin down. In many ways it shouldn’t be codified and corralled by a restrictive and reductive definition. Agile is about adaptation to a changing landscape, so really the best description is laid out in the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto.

But it’s kind of fun to try to define the undefinable. Well over a hundred people took part in the contest #idefineagile last week. Those brave souls tried to come up with a definition of Agile at tweet length, 100 characters or less.

And the entries really did reflect Agile values. The recurring ideas were words like: continuous learning, trust, respect, transparency, fun, embracing change etc.

And there were some truly great ones. Even Martin Fowler, the guy that wrote the Agile Manifesto on the white board at its creation joined in:

Not surprisingly, that’s a pretty good one.

My favorite tweets used AGILE as an acronym. The reason I like the technique is that when I was at West Point I used a similar definition as a tool in the midst of constant demands for extreme performance along with yelling and screaming when you never measured up. Every morning at breakfast as 3000 cadets bowed their heads in moment of silence I asked only one thing. “May I do better today than I did yesterday.” That mantra helped make my Corps of Cadets company the best on the parade field and eventually produced Scrum as we know it today.  


Among all the great entries, I thought Francesco Attanasio of Salerno, Italy, who goes by the twitter handle @LeanScrumMaster, slightly edged out the rest. Here is his entry:
Congratulations Francesco, you have won a three-month subscription to ScrumLab.

-- Jeff Sutherland


1 comment:

Valentin Tudor Mocanu said...

Nice definitions!
Anyway, imho the problem remains. Agile definition for HOW was already done by Agile Manifesto, where the values and the principles are in fact part of the HOW definition: we have these values and these principles because this is the way that really works for our domain.
We still need the WHAT definition. Yes, could be extracted from the Manifesto: using these values and these principles we could make these … promises and that works for these … problems. That mean we offer this … capability.
A special remark for Martin Fowler statement Predictive planning>: that should be registered and remembered because it is still not understood. Manifesto state: “often deliveries” and XP “small releases”, but seems that is not enough.