Agile and Beyond – David Anderson’s Keynote Overview

Duane OdumAfter having a week to reflect on the AgileandBeyond Conference in Dearborn, Michigan I have to admit that the keynote addresses of David Anderson and Steve Denning have sparked a bit of a creative fire in my mind.  I am not an “expert” on Agile methodologies by any means.  Having recently graduated from college I am well aware that although I performed well in school I still have much to learn when it comes to development, management, and business processes as a whole.  With that being said Mr. Anderson’s address was of particular interest to me as a junior level developer itching to learn.

I went into the conference with a basic understanding of the Agile process and I was also very aware of the Agile Manifesto’s 12 principles.  Mr. Anderson almost immediately brought up the Agile Manifesto as a valuable tool to set guidelines but it is just that, a guideline.  The great irony behind the Agile Manifesto is that organizations are using it as a checklist to ensure that they are “agile” yet the Agile Manifesto was created in 2001.  Can you imagine running a business using only technology that existed in 2001?

The truly impressive idea behind Mr. Anderson’s speech that really had me thinking is the Agile is not really a goal, but a set of guidelines that lead us toward the true goal of any organization which is continuous process improvement that adds value to organization.  According to Merriam-Webster agile is defined as:

1.       Marked by ready ability to move with quick easy grace

2.       Having a quick resourceful and adaptable character

So the next time you are wondering how to determine if your organization is truly agile instead of going down the Agile Manifesto checklist simply ask yourself “Are you responding to change quickly and efficiently?”.  If the answer is yes than in a sense you are embracing the ideology of Agile.

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