Agile celebrated its 10 years in August in Salt Lake City, where it also celebrated greater mainstream adoption. SD Times declared the term “agile” to be dead, not because it is not a valid strategy, but because it has been so widely adopted.
Tools have changed a bit, with some vendors incorporating the lean manufacturing principles of Kanban, a methodology that allows hardware and software vendors to manage both the hardware and software portions of their projects.
ALM Integration framework software offerings, which allow agile teams to merge existing software stacks with new software program suites, were a big trend in 2011, and it is clear that more companies will be going this way in 2012. CollabNet and HP both released offerings in November that allows teams to bring all their tool sets together for unified development and tracking throughout the process.
Developers are also experimenting with new ways of planning their projects and figuring out how much time is needed for a specific sprint. Agile games help developers think about projects in different ways and helps keep them engaged. Some games, like Planning Poker, help developers understand how long each feature takes to complete. Others, like Speed Boat, help developers understand their process using anchors and sailing metaphors to describe the things that hold back and push forward processes.
At Agile 2011, many of the signatories of the Agile Manifesto felt that tools were discounted in the beginning and that now it is time to evaluate the need for software programs and suites that help teams scale their agile processes. As agile matures, the need for tools may become greater, according to the signatories and speakers at the Utah conference.
The signatories, as they said in their park-bench keynote at the conference, wouldn’t change a thing about the manifesto, although some suggested they add the words “We really meant it” in all caps to the top of the document. All agreed that it is now time for agile to grow, however they disagreed on how this could, and should, be done. Some believed that the inclusion of other methodologies beyond the “traditional” agile methods, like Kanban and lean, is part of this, while others believed agile methodologies will extend beyond IT into other areas of the enterprise.
But the overall good news is that analysts at Agile 2011 claim that agile is no longer an unknown term, it is simply the way things are done.