May 20, 2022
Dan Neumann, your host, has been
reviewing the history of the Agile Coaches Corner Podcast
and encountered the most popular
show among these 184 episodes, it is titled “What is Agile?” and
was hosted by himself and Sam Falco.
In this episode, you will get
the chance to listen again to the most listened episode so far,
which explores the foundations of Agility and the history of the
- Why was it important for the Agile Manifesto to
be declared? What is the history behind it?
- It was created in reaction to what was
happening in the software industry in 2001 (predominantly waterfall
and other predictive methods with bad track records for delivering
- In response to “scope creep” (AKA changes or
uncontrolled growth in a project’s scope at any point after a
- Because it is very difficult to predict what
you need to do when you’re trying to solve a new problem every
- Out of necessity (as any work that requires
creativity and a high degree of uncertainty about the outcome
you’re trying to achieve [such as software development] is
difficult without a set of principles and values).
- Because every problem is unique with software
- In the Harvard Business Review in 1986, an
article was published titled, “The New New Development Game” which
outlined the need for a new way of working where teams could be
given objectives instead of tasks and they work together as a unit
to accomplish their work.
- The “relay race” method was clearly not working
and agility offered a better model, better compared to playing
- What is the Agile Manifesto?
- It’s the thing we point to when someone says,
“What is agile?”
- Those that came up with the Agile Manifesto
didn’t put it together to justify their existence; they put it
together because they recognized the success they were having
through its methodology and wanted to figure out the
- If you’re asking if something is agile, you can
reference the manifesto’s values and principles.
- What is Agile?
- It’s creating a competitive advantage and being
a disruptive force.
- Delivering working software as your primary
measure of success.
- A collection of values and principles as laid
out in the Agile Manifesto.
- It is the ability to deliberately respond to
change and demand; not just react.
- Controlling risk.
- Building stuff that people actually want and
- Solve the problem that the customer has called
for and not gold plating everything.
- Agile practices are simply that; practices —
they’re good in some circumstances and not good in
- Are you changing just to change or are you
harnessing change for competitive advantage? Is change happening to
you or are you creating the change?
- Change is not just about keeping up with your
competition but making your competition keep up with
Mentioned in this Episode:
“The New New Product Development Game,” by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka |
Harvard Business Review (January 1986)
Agile Software Development
Ecosystems: Problems, Practices, and Principles,
by James A. Highsmith
The Surprising Power of
Liberating Structures: Simple Rules to Unleash A Culture of
Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless
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