I seem to be encountering more and more people who want to codify agile into a set of rules. I’ve seen this lately in authors of books, blogs or PDFs about agile or Scrum that say “You must do this” or “If you don’t do this or all of that then you’re not doing it right.” Over the last few months I also encountered this in conversations with a few Project Management Offices (PMOs).

That leads me to my new year’s resolution for 2012 and one that I hope a lot of others will make with me: make recommendations not rules.

There are very few hard-and-fast rules to agile software development. I’d put things like:

  • work in iterations of no more than a month long
  • by the end of each iteration be “done” with something to some pre-agreed upon definition of done and solicit feedback from your key stakeholders on it
  • at the start of an iteration, get together and figure out what you’re doing to do during the iteration
  • at the end of the iteration, reflect on how well you did during the iteration
  • talk a lot during the iteration

Beyond that, it’s much more about recommendations. And there are plenty of things we’ve learned in the nearly 20 years that some agile processes have been around in even informal forms. For example, I recommend teams use user stories as their approach to requirements. I recommend teams use story points for estimating. I recommend that the team pick a day other than Mondays for starting their iterations. I recommend the Szechuan Chicken at Spice China. But, none of these things is required for success with agile. Each may help a team be better, and I have reasons I recommend each. But, these things are not required.

So, my resolution for 2012: Make recommendations not rules. I’d kind of like to make it a rule that you join me in this resolution, but I’ve just resolved not to make such rules.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Six Actionable Nuggets of Advice for Becoming a First-time Technology NED

If the pandemic has taught companies anything it’s that tech is not something that you put off and think about ‘later’. The last year has seen organisations go through huge digital transformations, whether planned or otherwise. And for those that aren’t technology-based companies, getting the right board-level advice can not only be hard to find, but the difference between success

Read More »

Culture, Skills, and Capabilities // How to become a more data-driven organisation

In our whitepaper “How to become a more data-driven organisation”, we wrote about the five steps that an organisation would need to take, which are: Outcomes: Defining goals and metrics to ensure clear and measurable outcomes Analytics: Implementing and sharing the analytics to improve data-driven decision making Innovation: Testing assumptions through hypothesis testing and learning Data Platform: Gaining new insights

Read More »

Data Platform // How to become a more data-driven organisation

This is the fourth article in our series on “How to become a more data-driven organisation”, and we are going to be focusing on Data Platforms. It is at this point that most people start to dive deep into the technical aspects of Data Lakes vs Data Warehouses, but we want to bring us back up a level and ask

Read More »

Search the Blog

Agile Management Made Easy!

All About Agile

By Kelly Waters

“’Agile’ is one of the biggest buzzwords of the last decade. Agile methods often come across as rather more complicated than they really are. This book is an attempt to unravel that complexity. To simplify the concepts. This book breaks the concepts into small bite-sized pieces that are easy to understand and easy to implement and delivers the message in a friendly and conversational style. Allaboutagile.com is one of the most popular blogs about agile on the web. ”

Kelly Waters

Agile 101 is available to purchase. GAME ON!

Agile 101

Emma Hopkinson-Spark

“Whilst there are lots of ways you can vary the game depending on the teams you have and the learning outcomes you want, the basic flow of the game play is common to all.”
Emma Hopkinson-Spark

Why did we make the game?

How to play the game?


101 Ways Limited
145 City Rd
United Kingdom


101 Ways BV
Weesperstraat 61-105
1018 VN Amsterdam

Contact Us

If you would like to get in touch with one of the team at 101 Ways, then please fill out the form below or email us at contact-us@101ways.com.