selling agile is not about programming techniques

We welcomed a couple of new faces to last night’s meeting of the AgileNorth group. Interestingly, both Josh and David want to get their work environments moving over to being agile, without either having tried it for real. So we spent a very pleasant evening out in the sun talking about how to sell agile into distinctly non-agile organisations.

One thing that struck me as fascinating: there seems to be a grand misconception that “being agile” is about TDD and pair programming. It isn’t – there’s far more to being agile than choosing the right programming techniques. Perhaps Kent Beck’s success in promoting XP has obscured part of the picture?

My own recent experience suggests that “XP” or “Scrum” or even “agile” isn’t the issue. As we discussed last evening, selling agile is really about delivering ROI quickly, incrementally and predictably. The techniques of XP will definitely help us turn the dials up to ten, but that’s rarely needed in the immediate term…

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