Archive for the ‘Words of Power’ Category

Are you Being agile, or Doing agile?

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Welcome to Agile Slices; a series of quick pragmatic articles of about 200 words, intended to help you, your team and your business, harness the power of agility.


Are you Being agile, or Doing agile?


Agility is being able to cross a stream by jumping from rock to rock.


If I teach you the steps to cross a particular stream, it doesn’t make you agile. The steps probably won’t transfer to the next stream.


Agile coaches often have the following “Who’s on first” conversation.



Agile Coach: “I’m here to help you be more agile.”

Customer: “We’re glad to have you, we’re having difficulties doing this agile thing.”

Agile Coach: “That’s great, but I need to stress that I’m here to help you ‘be’ more agile.”

Customer: “Exactly, so tell us how to do it.”



There seems to be a belief that a methodology is a set of practices. This belief is so ingrained that the Scrum folks bristle when you call it the “Scrum Methodology.” They stamp their feet and saying, “It’s a framework, not a methodology.”


It makes sense, the Wikipedia entry on methodology has this charming nugget.

In recent years, some have argued the word methodology has become a “pretentious substitute for the word method”.


In agile coaching, we are often told, “Just tell us which steps to take to cross this stream, and then we’ll cross all streams with the same steps.”


Agility is a capability, not a method.


Stay On Mission.


If you have already used this slice, please add your voice to the conversation. If it sounds silly, please take some actions to test a particular idea’s validity, and then share your results, good or bad, with the community. If something strikes you as golden, then I’m glad I was able to provide value to your life, please let us know what difference it has made for you or your company.