Agile is something you are, not something you do

A post by Perryn Fowler reminded me of something I’d been meaning to say for a while. Perryn says:

agile is an adjective, not a noun

Saying ‘Agile Practices’ makes about as much sense as saying ‘Fast Running Shoes’.

Saying ‘Agile Best Practice’ makes about as much sense as ‘Fastest Running Shoes’.

It seems quite common (and I’m sure I’ve done it myself) to say you’re ‘doing’ agile. I think you can ‘do’ XP, Scrum or your methodology of choice, but agile has to be something you are.

So, how do you know if you are agile? I think it’s down to whether you believe in the manifesto, and more importantly whether you follow the principles.

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