An Evolutionary Path for Agile?

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more than one situation where an initial pilot project has succeeded, but there was no further expansion of the use of Agile.

What's needed is the equivalent of the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 that built on the successes and learned from the failures of previous aircraft, engines and technologies. Those aircraft brought jet travel to the mainstream, and have a direct link to the ubiquity and simplicity of jet travel today (security issues notwithstanding). Both the 707 and DC-8 entered passenger service in 1958, only 4 years after the disasters with the Comet.

The jet engines in today's regional jets are efficient and reliable to the point of being boring. Failures do occur, but they do so less often than the motor in a family car. Agile Software Development is evolving, with newer approaches such as Kanban being explored. We're still trying to determine how to move past the issues with overall Agile adoption and the use of specific practices such as Test-Driven of Behaviour-Driven Development, but those represent the metal fatigue issues faced by the deHavilland engineers in 1954. Once they have been overcome, we will be moving into the age of the Boeing 707, where Agile will become ‘sexy' and eventually will be the standard for software development processes.

There is still some distance to go, however, before Agile is taken for granted in the same manner as the engines on that Boeing 737 on which you may have just flown.


About the Author
Dave Rooney has been developing software professionally since 1988, focusing on Agile methods since 2001. He has coached teams in companies ranging from pre-funding startups to the Fortune 15, and in both the private and public sector. Dave is a co-founder of the Agile Ottawa Group (Canada), and continues to be an active writer, speaker and advocate of agile methods in Canada.

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