Friday, 18 December 2009

Can Agile be Context-Driven?

"They say they are doing Agile, but they're not doing all of the practices, so they aren't really Agile."

This seems to be a popular view, implying that Agile needs to be done "properly". A search on "agile best practice" brings up many entries. Is there such a thing as Agile Best Practice?

The Context-driven principles ( include:
1. The value of any practice depends on its context.
2. There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices. (emphasis mine)

So if you adapt agile practices to suit your context, as was described by Gitte Ottosen at EuroSTAR, isn't that context-driven agile? And isn't that the best way to practice it?


Gitte Ottosen said...

Interesting post :-) I focus on the word “over” all the time, and keep reminding everybody that the agile principles isn’t about getting rid of all the stuff on the right side, it is about valuing the stuff on the left side more. And as I also said in the keynote, we have taken what we think add value from the agile
world – I don’t in anyway claim that we are religious and have taken everything :-) And the same goes for SCRUM; some of our projects actually run SCRUM by the book, but for others this isn’t possible, their context doesn’t make this possible.
So I completely agree with you that you have to adapt all the theory to the context you find yourself in, and make it work there.
And by the way, a merry christmas to you all from Gitte Ottosen :-)

Anko said...

Scrum "by the book" is all about productivity. The more keep to the book, the more software you will be able to deliver (with the same quality!). That means that everything that is not in the book but within your context, will jeopardise your productivity.
The question is: is productivity that important within your context? For some teams it will be, and for others it won't. The more important productivity is, the more you should apply it by the book.
For some teams traceability will be important, or complying to Sox. That's a matter of your organizations policy.