We can’t agree what agility actually is.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

While we may all hold certain patterns to be true of agile ways of working (I say iterate, increment, experiment, explore) we are miles away from agreeing on what agility actually looks like.

There is no generally accepted consensus yet on what agile ways of working look like.
Answers vary from SAFe to NoEstimates, from PRINCE2 Agile to Camelot, from ITIL4 to Spotify Model, from Deming to Laloux, from SpaceX to Buurtzorg.

Discussing this on LinkedIn, several replies implied that the items on my list are *all* flavours of agile thinking (please note I’m using a small a in this post, Agile is just one part of this melee), and that diversity is good, that we pick and choose for context.

That is fine, but one day I hope we mature to a generally accepted consensus on what is a *good* way of achieving agility.
There is only one set of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (per country).

 

Others proposed their favourite framework as the correct answer.  I could have mentioned 100 other items in my original list. The fact that you think one particular one is an answer just reinforces my point. Most people don’t. Every one of the items on my list has no more support than any other, and most people would disagree that one is in any way ahead of the others. There is no general acceptance of anything in (small a) agile, (including Agile, which it is highly fashionable to reject right now).

 

I’d suggest that it is entirely possible to determine generally accepted practice. Every engineering discipline except information engineering (i.e software) does it and formalises it. Most professions do it.
It’s just that the ideas of agility are so immature that we aren’t there yet. Sometime this century, we may accrue enough experience to start agreeing.