What is ‘agile’ and what is the Agile Manifesto?

In a recent a Ruby Rogues episode I heard Andy Hunt discuss how the fundamental expectation from the original Agile Manifesto was that “everyone and their dog was going to come out with their own agile method.” Andy continued to explain that most people equate ‘agile’ with scrum, which in turn leaves much room for innovation (including Andy’s latest effort via the GROW methodology).

When I heard Andy talk about this, I realized that I never really read the Agile Manifesto. In my mind is was something related to Agile and Scrum and XP and every other agile-like methodology that I’ve heard and read about in the past (and somewhere in there stand-up meetings were required because I experienced this in various start-ups). It was quite a revelation for me to read and revel in the simplicity of http://agilemanifesto.org/ site – 2 pages consisting of the manifesto and the principles behind it.

After reading these two pages I felt like the guy using the word ‘inconceivable’ in Princess Bride where Mandy Patinkin says “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

This post is a reminder to myself to re-examine my assumptions about agile. I can now see how the manifesto and its principles can apply to many things beyond work. For example, there’s the principle of:

The most efficient and effective method of
conveying information to and within a development
team is face-to-face conversation.

How many times have I resorted to emailing over face-to-face? How many times has email been ineffective when compared to face-to-face?

Thoughts? Feedback? Let me know: @eli4d on Twitter or eli4dcom on Snapchat (I’m still experimenting with Snapchat)