In February 2001, a group of renegade software engineers gathered at a ski resort in Snowbird, Utah and famously wrote the Agile Manifesto. They called into question the whole traditional Waterfall approach to product development and project management.
The Atlantic recently profiled that gathering in an article called “The Winter Getaway That Turned the Software World Upside Down: How a group of programming rebels started a global movement.” The article gives a fascinating glimpse of the birth of the whole Agile philosophy.
One of the Agile Manifesto coauthors, Jim Highsmith, observed a few years ago:
“Linear-thinking, prescriptive processes and standardized, unvarying practices are no match for today’s volatile product development environments.”
Deloitte recently reported that 94% of companies say that “agility and collaboration” are critical to their organization’s success, yet only 6% say that are “highly agile” today and 19% describe themselves as “not agile”.
Since 2001, the Agile movement has dramatically impacted not only project management, but organizational design in general. As businesses face increasing pressure from “digital transformation”, many are trying to make a shift in how they operate. But it’s easier said than done.
Here are a couple related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years.