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Tuesday, May 1 • 10:20 - 11:05
Agile Schizophrenia: Consistent Agile is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds (Fred George)

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Consistent Agile has one guarantee: Consistent failure, or mediocrity at best. Agile is no more a universal set of practices any more than Java (or Ruby or Fortran in my day) is a universal language, or Spring a universal framework, or Angular.js a universal UI tool.
In this talk, we will explore the behavioral purpose behind the practices, and assert that once the behavior is achieved, the practices serve as a barrier to success, or at a minimum, a barrier to further process innovation. Understand that these practices, radical in their time, were meant to break the chains of waterfall thinking. Unfortunately, these practices have too often become new, gilded chains.
We make two arguments for flexibility in team-to-team, project-to-project Agile practices. First, the type of problems we are solving today vary greatly. We will expound on that with Dave Snowden’s Cynefin framework.
Second, we will dissect several key Agile processes, making claims about the intended behavior for the practice. Once that behavior is achieved, the value of the process is largely gone, and sometimes even an inhibitor to further progress. As an Agile practitioner for nearly two decades, I will talk about my use and removal of these processes.
We briefly present several signs that your current Agile process is staid (ie, not Agile anymore!)
We wrap up by looking at a UK retailer, and how they have adopted different practices for different purposes.

Learning Outcomes:
  • The audience should understand rationale for various Agile practices, and the point at which the Agile practice becomes an inhibitor rather than facilitator. The material should also help justify new experiments in the processes in Agile teams in their companies.

avatar for Fred George

Fred George

Founder, Fred George Consulting
Fred George is an industry consultant, and has been writing code for 50 years in (by his count) over 70 languages. He has delivered projects and products across his career, and in the last decade alone, has worked in the US, India, China, and the UK. He started ThoughtWorks University... Read More →

Tuesday May 1, 2018 10:20 - 11:05 CDT
Lone Star F/G