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What the software industry collectively refers to as “Agile Software Development” is a far cry from what the original authors penned in the Agile Manifesto. Certifications and “transformations” don’t guarantee success. It has to start with mindset. Whether or not you call it “agile,” teams perform better with autonomy. Measuring success in terms of working software staves off analysis paralysis. Keeping the customer involved at each step prevents big surprises, and keeping plans flexible ensures that new information causes better plans instead of broken plans.

“Agile” often tends to evoke near-religious adherence to rules and rituals. It’s almost comical how little agility comes from typical “agile transformations.” Despite its misconceptions, the only prescribed practice that agile espouses is frequent reflection and adaption. We don’t do “agile transformations” and we rarely refer to “agile” as a valid reason to do (or to avoid doing) anything. Instead, we believe that agile’s values and the principles are worthy of consideration all on their own, and don’t need to be labeled “agile” to catalyze virtuous cycles of productivity and satisfaction.

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