March 9, 2021


News for Agilists

Agile vs. Agile 2: What’s the difference?

Agile was a reaction to the dysfunctional methods that were not working at the time – the late 1990s – but Agile was in many ways an overreaction. The Agile Manifesto did this through two statements:

  • Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

The first statement says to “trust the team”. That is fine, except that it says this without adding any qualification, such as “trust but verify”, or “trust but check on them to make sure they are on track.” Unqualified trust translates into no oversight – any other interpretation is reading words into the statement that are not there. Indeed, the Agile lead at a major US government agency told me that one should always trust the team a priori.

About the author

Cliff Berg is an Agile evangelist

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