#NotMyAgile

March 13, 2019

Recently, there has been a series of tweets with the hashtag #NotMyAgile. They are usually a statement or example of some dysfunction in how people are implementing agile. Many are the kind of thing that you read and nod your head thinking, “Yup, that’s not how I’d do it. They got it wrong.” But there’s part of me that feels like this isn’t very helpful.

Look, I know there are a lot of ways to screw up the agile methods. There are truly endless possibilities there. However, pointing them out doesn’t do us much good. It’s really the same as saying, “That’s not agile.”

Duh.

The question isn’t really, “Is this behavior agile?” But rather is there a way to help. Or is this offending behavior really the biggest problem they face? If I’m in a company with two teams and one team is micro-managed, that’s a big problem. If I’m in a company of 50 teams and one is micro managed, it’s one of many issues, and may or may not rise to the top. Context really matters. And in most contexts there is always at least a little dysfunction. Rubbing people’s noses in it doesn’t help.

There are some egregious cases, and perhaps that’s what some folks are objecting to. Agile gone so wrong, so badly misinterpreted or misused that all agree that’s #NotMyAgile. I’ll be honest, it’s easy to run around finger pointing at the misuse of just about any practice or method. It’s trivial really. What I crave – what I really want to see, are the successful cases. So I’m going to propose a new hashtag: #ThatsMyAgile.

My agile is going to look different from your agile. My agile will vary from place to place, team to team, person to person. My agile isn’t ever perfect. It has bad days. It can even suck. #ThatsMyAgile.