The meaning of Agile, the meaning of life, living Agile!

medewerkers Xebia.iov. MarcommitAs a board member of the Agile Consortium I feel connected to Agile and the Agile community, living Agile! Giving meaning to Agile and thus giving meaning to life, together with soul mates, improving continuously. This sounds pretty ‘deep’, and it is, Agile can change your mindset. Or in my case support my mindset.

This feeling started for me in 1997 when I discovered DSDM and became an active member of the DSDM community in the Netherlands. It felt like a family, regularly coming together at member locations working on improvements of the methodology and sharing knowledge and experience. With competitors, without competition. All sharing a common interest, a team was created. Not only improving DSDM but more importantly improving the people involved, creating a community capable of using and promoting DSDM as a means for realizing Business value. Almost as a way of living.

In 2001 the birth of Agile brought together several similar interactive, iterative, evolutionary, incremental and lean methods, giving an extra impulse to this way of working. The Agile manifesto and the example of combining strengths instead of method competition changed the world. One of the changes was the switch of the DSDM consortium NL to the Agile Consortium NL. Facilitating the broader Agile community and the use of techniques from the different Agile Methods. At that time still with a major focus on IT, the roots of Agile.

Today (2014) Agile is common in IT organizations, all kind of organizations are embracing Agile at organizational level. Agile has grown larger than the IT domain by making IT a business enabler. BusDevOps is the term being used for this end to end Value Stream. Agile in terms of short cycled customer driven product development is now taking off. That’s how it was always intended. An important supplement to the Agile manifesto (2001) in line with this movement, is the Agile Organization Manifesto (2011). Stable teams over sourcing
Prioritizing over planning
Outcome over output
Products over projects

This Manifesto is a guide towards “de wendbare organisatie” (the Agile organization). More information can be found in the following book, written by Certified Agile Masters for the Agile Consortium: Agile – Pocketguide voor wendbare organisaties

I became active in the Agile Community to get inspired by and inspire others. Helping organizations to become short cycled customer driven product development organizations. My belief is that this can only be reached by continuous improvement of the people in these organizations. Creating inspired teams, initiating self-organization, on all levels.

And just like the movie Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, the Agile Consortium’s meaning of Agile brings fun, which is probably the most important addition to the answer given in the movie. “Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.”
And have FUN!!!

Jeroen Venneman
Boardmember Agile Consortium Netherlands

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