On understanding Agility…

by admin

An email popped into my inbox yesterday that made me very happy. My paper on applying the Cynefin model to Agile software development was accepted to the 1st international workshop on complexity and real-world applications.

I was pleased because this acceptance is recognition of the research and work I’ve been doing for almost 15 years on understanding why Agile processes work. Even more, I was happy because my session on this topic, as well as my session on coaching self-organising teams, were both rejected for the Agile 2010 conference, although both sessions had been presented there twice in the past (as well as at many other conferences), and had received excellent reviews each time.

I’m starting to think that the average Agile practitioner’s position with regards to complexity science etc. can best be described as “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. Terms such as complexity, self-organisation, emergence, and so on, are bandied about in a way that they’ve become as content-free as the term “Agile” itself. People also seem to be content to accept such idiotic statements as “Architecture self-organizes around working code”. I don’t know about you, but the last time I saw architecture self-organising was last Friday night, when a re-run of Terminator 2 came on late-night television.

In any case, that’s enough for this little rant. I’m going to get back to my research and writing, and hope that some of you will be as interested as I am in finding out why this Agile stuff really works. More (including the finished paper) later.