process

Alistair Cockburn – Agile is an Attitude

Agile is an Attitude

“Agile … is an attitude, not a technique with boundaries. An attitude has no boundaries, so we wouldn’t ask ‘can I use agile here’, but rather ‘how would I act in the agile way here?’ or ‘how agile can we be, here?’”
— Alistair Cockburn

I’d like to share one of my favorite agile quotes from Alistair Cockburn, because it summarizes my own perspective so well. In my observance, many fail to differentiate agile principles from agile methodologies, and end up with a prescriptive/dogmatic view of the correct way to do or be “agile” that misses the mark.

Whether you’re working in an “Agile” or traditional delivery environment, you can find ways to apply agile principles and keep a responsive mindset.

The Echo, The Lie and The UML Guy

“Early on, the goal is not to be right, but rather to be wrong in interesting, illuminative ways. Oh, it’s nice to feel like a genius when you do get it right the first time; but that’s rare. Much more common is that you think that you got it right, because your customer nods and doesn’t say much, when what’s really happening is that he’s too busy and just wants this meeting to be over. So being “right” in your early Echoes can lead to a false sense of security; and trying too hard to be right right away is misplaced effort and worry. Be as correct as you can manage, but recognize the limitations of your current knowledge.”