Monday, February 8, 2010

Why Post-Agilism isn't

I have a strong dislike for the term "post-agilism" and it will take somewhat more than 140 characters to explain why. Sorry twitter.

Post-agilism is a strawman argument. It postulates that agilism is zealous, doctrinaire and narrow-minded, and then posits that because of these deficiencies we need something that is "post-agilist". Implicit in this is that people who call themselves "agilists" have got it wrong.

This is simply another turn in a vicious circle. The "post-agilists" solution is a restatement of agile principles. Agile didn't start with hype, it didn't start with zealotry. On the contrary, Agile by declaration is adaptive and focussed on getting working software delivered. If you say you're doing agile but you don't believe in these principles then I'm sorry folks, you're just wrong. You probably weren't there at the beginning, and you've been misinformed, quite possibly by people who cherry-picked things out of context. We don't need another revolution, we need help with the swinging pendulum of the current phase.

So for the "post-agilists" out there - change your message. Say "wow, lots of people are doing agile wrong, we need to stop that, let's do agile right". Otherwise in 10 more years we'll have post-post-agilists decrying the shortcomings of how people have interpreted post-agilism (though more likely because of a lack of any structure than from too much).


  1. Reminds me a bit of the the whole "noSQL" trend that is going on at the moment. All the fan-boys with a new type of hammer. Perhaps it should have been called "post-SQL"?

  2. I couldn't fail to disagree with you less!