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Last Updated Feb 14, 2021 —

Reflecting on the 20th anniversary of the Agile Manifesto

Enterprise Agile Planning


Over the past 20 years, it’s been amazing to watch an idea from a three-day retreat shape the way the world does development.

We knew there was a better way to develop software, and agile has certainly made that possible. We’ve also discovered there’s a better way to organize and deliver value across the entire organization, and business agility is delivering on that as well.

Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen enough that we also know what doesn’t work. Organizations that embrace agile in name only and don’t embrace the underlying principles won’t get the value that an agile way of working can bring. There is no benefit in changing terminology without resolving root cause issues. Savvy companies are realizing this and making decisions to address these failure patterns.

Looking forward, I think we'll see organizations moving from doing “agile transformations'' to “addressing business problems.” Most businesses struggle with inadequate transparency, a lack of predictability, slow speed to market, and lack of quality which are all things agile can improve. Instead of just doing agile, I believe companies are better suited to explicitly focus on key business outcomes and in that context leverage agile principles to bring that value into being. If I’m correct, I think we’ll see a reduced focus on agile coaching as an end in and of itself and instead see an increased demand for business consulting using agile as a means to the greater end.

In its first 20 years, we’ve seen agile completely change the way we imagine software development; in its next 20 years I’m excited to watch as it expands through the enterprise changing the way entire corporations organize and operate. Buckle up, it’s going to be an incredible journey!

If you are planning on or have implemented agile digital transformation in your organization then share your experiences with us. The State of Agile survey is the largest and longest-running agile survey online. We'd love to hear from you. 

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