#10yearsAgile and Snowbird 2011

This content is syndicated from Agile Development Blog: Scaling Software Agility by Ryan Martens. To view the original post in full, click here.

I was fortunate and honored to be able to attend the 10 year Agile celebration in Snowbird, UT on February 11th and 12th.   The 2-day meeting in Snowbird had four very positive attributes that allowed the 33 participants to produce a solid retrospective on the last 10 years.

Group busy in Snowbird, UT 2011

It was:

  • Thoughtful

  • Diversified

  • Well-facilitated

  • Collaborative

As a result, it was a very satisfying event because of the energy that Alistair put into it and the facilitation by Janet and Bob from Coach4hire.  The event met all of Alistair’s objectives and everyone seemed to have fun.  What more can you ask?

Maybe you want to know what came out? As a celebration and retrospective, we did a very good job of appreciating the positive things of the past 10-years and reflecting on the puzzles and issues.

We agreed that we achieved the following things in the last 10 years:

  • changed the mindset of a big portion of industry allowing folks to move past agile

  • recognition that software development is a team sport

  • emphasis on shipping and rapid feedback, higher level of trust

  • transparency, reporting & tracking

  • unit and automated testing is good,

  • worldwide acceptance that it is OK to be agile

What we did not do was make a plan.  A small group did spend time discussing ways the Agile Alliance could evolve to support our maturing and growing community.  As we were all from diverse companies and background, we were not in a place to really make a plan.  Rachel Davies, Todd Little and I shared context from having been on the Agile Alliance board.  And, Todd Little is taking many of the recommendations back to the Agile Alliance’s next board meeting in Stockholm.  I have hopes to see some of these ideas surface at Agile 2011 that will be back in Utah in August.

If you are really interested in the events of the weekend, I would encourage you to read these posts and others that will surely emerge during the remainder of the week:

There were four summary statements that the group developed with regards to what we, the industry, need to do in the next 10 years of Agile.  Please know that the group does not see the high value in these summary statements, but in the details that are below these categories.

  • Demand Technical Excellence

  • Promote Individual Change and Lead Organizational Change

  • Organize Knowledge and Improve Education

  • Maximize Value Creation Across the Entire Process

At Rally, we are planning on being here for the next 10 years even as the industry moves from revolution to evolution:
“The mission now is incremental improvement. It’s evolution, education and improving levels of maturity, rather than a revolution. The enemy is now within. The enemy is as Joshua Kerievsky put it “all the crap I see out there” despite 10 years of Agile methods.” – From David Andersen’s post

10 Years ago as the Agile Manifesto was being crafted in Snowbird, UT, I was working at BEA Systems on E-commerce product and its web services strategy.  Agile has had a big impact on my past including the Global Village team in 1995, operating Avitek in the late 1990′s and through the first four releases of BEA’s Ecommerce solutions in 2000.  I had read Kent Beck’s white book, but I did not notice the Snowbird event in 2001.  It was not until I had left BEA in late 2001, that I noticed the snowball forming.  I am very happy to have been personally and professionally part of helping this critical industry scale the benefits of software agility.

I feel like I owe a big Thank You to the whole community, we really made progress and it has been a great last 10 years.  Now, I am really looking forward to the next 10 years where we are able to use these attitudes, beliefs, skills, capabilities, awareness, and sensibilities to work with with some of societies most complex difficulties.

Ryan Martens is a member of NRDC’s Environmental Entrepreneurs,  founder/CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado, and Founder/CTO at Rally Software Development.

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