How do you know you’re Agile?

That’s the question I asked myself after reading this article over on the Energized Work blog – which I highly recommend to anyone interested in Agile software development.

Is it when you picked a methodology like Scrum or XP and follow the associated principles? Is it when everyone in the development team has read the book Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide? Is it when you feel totally powerless when asked to get back to a more traditional approach like Waterfall?

According to the above mentioned blog post, “more than practices are required to be agile”. In essence, doing daily stand-ups, having a product backlog, drawing an iteration burndown or doing continuous integration alone is not enough.

Beck argues that all “practices, values and principles” need to be part of the mix in order to be really agile. (read more on Beck’s views over here). So where to start? How do I start being Agile? Really there must be a point to start from…

Do you start with communicating Agile principles around? Do you buy software that allow to manage Agile life cycle products? Do you start doing daily stand-ups? Do you start doing continuous integration? Or do you start being Agile with a small team of talented developers on a small pilot project to get the first feeling of what it takes “to be Agile”?

That’s a lot of questions and the reason why I cannot seem to answer them is that after all being Agile may be something you feel rather than something you teach or learn. From this perspective, I believe learning by doing i.e. using a specific methodology with carefully picked practices would be a good way to get started, get a feeling of Agility, one Sprint at a time.

By the way, beginning of June I will be attending a 2 day training in order to officially be certified Scrum Master. Does that mean I’ll be Agile?

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