What is Minimally Viable Agile?

Jon recently asked (at 14:00 of episode 3 of the podcast) what’s Agile and what’s not.

Do you ever hear “Oh, that’s not Agile” as a pejorative? There’a a lot of controversy – even a heated debate – about what constitutes the minimum necessary to still be considered “Agile”.

Agile, of course, is not one method, but a collection of related methods. The term “agile” indicates (for us) a nimbleness or adaptability of these related methods.

Could you boil Agile down into Iteration (the inspect-and-adapt cycle) and Incrementalism (breaking deliverables down into small units of business value)?

What about respect for people? How about an un-ending obsession with eliminating waste (kaizen)? Are these elements that you couldn’t live without?

What else? Let us know.

2 thoughts on “What is Minimally Viable Agile?

  1. Thanks for kicking this off, Victor. Here are the pieces of Agile that IMHO must exist for it to look, sound, and smell….like duck, no matter HOW it walks. LOL!

    1. Cross Functional Team
    2. Emergent design
    3. Frequent incremental, iterative product improvements
    4. At least 1 product backlog of project stakeholder requirements
    5. A daily standup where the entire team speaks to each other and nobody else does
    6. One wringable neck/customer feedback loop
    7. A frequent team retrospective for team capacity expansion
    8. A sustainable cadence for pulling work into scope
    9. An information radiator/artifact publishing the state of the project, close to real-time

    I reserve the right to revise this list from time to time, as I see fit. I welcome questions, comments and suggestions…and the posting of other people’s lists.

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