The Agile Manifesto: A Look Back and a Look Forward

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Rarely do we take a look at things we believe in or supposedly follow. Some experts in the industry have done just that and come to the conclusion that it may be time for a revision of the Agile Manifesto. So what do other experts have to say about the manifesto thirteen years later?

It didn’t take me long to find one group that is thoroughly opposed to the Agile Manifesto and has proposed their own Anti Agile Manifesto. The conversations on this website are extremely valuable, and I think should lead one to question the fact that the manifesto has not been updated in thirteen years. As this article points out in great detail, one of the main arguments for revising the manifesto is that it is too project centric. This is a fair point since the manifesto is supposed to espouse development over project management concepts.

One blogger states that the Agile Manifesto has done its job and run its course. Now we need a Performance Manifesto. Or it may even be time for an IT Operations Manifesto for IT Operations groups. The writer is proposing, “Control over IT Operations performance relies on management principles inspired from industrial practice.”

There is no shortage of opinions when it comes to the Agile Manifesto; on IBM’s website in 2012 they recommend a strategy for scaling agile development by updating the values of the manifesto. They include a link on the article stating that what was written then has been replaced by a “Disciplined” Agile Manifesto.

Not to be outdone, someone has written a Dark Manifesto for Agile Software Development. This manifesto enters the realm of the Sith and changes the original to deal in absolutes rather than with the less stringent assertions that are the foundation for the original. Then we have my personal favorite, which takes a more comedic view—the Manifesto for Half-Arsed Agile Software Development.

So where does all of this leave us? Are we any closer to figuring out the argument that the Agile Manifesto has run its course? I think this argument would be better left to the folks who wrote the original. Maybe they need to get back together like they did in Snowbird, Utah, back in 2001. Or maybe we already have our answer. Dave Thomas, one of the original members who signed the Agile Manifesto, believes we have our answer for the Agile Manifesto.

But more importantly, what do you think?

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Joe Townsend

Joe Townsend has been in the configuration management field for twelve years. He has worked for CNA Life Insurance, RCA, Boeing, UPS, and in state government. Joe has primarily worked with Serena tools, including PVCS Version Manager, Tracker, TeamTrack (Mashups), and Dimensions. He is an administrator for WebFocus and supports Eclipse users.