In 2011, I see continued widespread adoption of agile methods, though with growing fragmentation and dissipation. Many different blends of Agile will evolve to serve the interest of different communities and protagonists:
- Growing PMI-Agile Nexus. The philosophies of the leaders of and project managers in the PMI and Agile communities will continue to converge, with the PMI Agile Community of Practice growing at the nexus. This will happen despite chagrin and opposition from the extreme quarters of both communities. PMI managers will now feel they have their own version of agile.
- “Cargo Cult” Agile. With many companies having practiced some version of Scrum or other agile method for many years now, many agile practices such as collocation, big visible charts, daily stand-up meetings and collaborative workspaces will simply become the de facto way that software development projects are run. These agile practices will be employed without any knowledge of the principles behind them, and therefore, will be of limited effectiveness, though perhaps still better than the waterfall alternative. Nominal adopters will feel they have arrived with agile.
- Growing Internationalization. With the rapid growth of agile adoption in India, China and Latin America; agile methods will expand internationally in a big way. U.S and European companies will feel that their international partners and/or subsidiaries are now drinking the same agile Kool-Aid.
- Yes They Kanban. With the establishment of the Lean Systems and Software Conference, a new landmark book by David Anderson, and many other industry bigwigs behind it, Kanban will develop significant momentum. Scrum doubters will now have their own version of Agile.
- Lean-Scrum-XP for the Enterprise. Agile Enterprise enthusiasts like myself will continue to insist on the Lean-Scrum-XP prescription as the best way to scale Agile to the enterprise. Scrum, for getting teams up and running quickly and evolving high performance teams; XP, for deep technical discipline; and Lean, to scale beyond individual teams with effective program and portfolio governance. Senior managers will feel they have a robust Agile variant.
- Scrum Uber Alles. Despite the momentum of Kanban, PMI Agile growth, some Lean in the enterprise, and diehard XP adoption, Scrum will continue to rule the roost. Certification will continue to be the wedge that introduces Scrum into more and more organizations. Also, despite continued lamentation in some quarters, certification will continue to be the market draw for individuals genuinely seeking to burnish their credentials or to simply jump onto the Agile bandwagon. Scrum enthusiasts can feel vindicated that they have the largest mindshare.
What do you think? Do you agree/disagree with any of the predictions above? They’re just guesses after all!