One decade ago, 17 people who were well-known software leaders met to figure out a better way to build software. Frustrated with traditional methodologies, they brainstormed, argued, discussed and analyzed how the future should look.
The result was The Agile Manifesto, which is comprised of four values and 12 principles.
In August, Laurie Williams, PhD, led the Agile 2011 Conference, where most of those leaders reunited for a panel discussion. Dr. Williams conducted a worldwide, open survey of 335 members of the agile community across the world to research possible changes to the manifesto. She announced her conclusion that the original manifesto remained valid, saying that the original creators of the manifesto "nailed it" -- even 10 years later.
The manifesto authors each talked about the initial meeting held 10 years ago and how agile is trending today.
Bob Martin said, "our original meeting was probably the only meeting in my career that actually worked." Ken Schwaber poured water from a pitcher as a visual metaphor for the last use of waterfall. Jeff Sutherland described how developers he's met in the past 10 years have been moved to tears by having a process that worked.
But the panelists warned that not all teams do agile well. Some teams call themselves agile but don't do the harder practices. The consensus during the panel session was that the moniker of "agile'" will fade away and simply be how we manage projects. Not just for software, but beyond.
The agile conference was impressive because of the growing diversity of tracks. In addition to the usual technical sessions for software testing and development, many sessions covered people skills, including ones on coaching, cultural mapping and distributed teams. Information on the new PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)SM certification was also popular.
What will the next 10 years bring? New leadership will expand from the original signatories of the manifesto to those doing agile project management today. And as expressed in the Japanese concept of kaizen, many small improvements will add up to more streamlined productivity in many steps and many teams.
How do you see agile advancing over the years?
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