What is next for agile?


Its kind of funny to think through the lineage of the post-manifesto agile ecosystem. First it was the framework discussion, then the certification discussion, then the scaling discussion, and just this week I think they all came together as one giant discussion with that Deloitte Agile Landscape v3 shared everywhere.

As someone that is much more concerned with simplification, I would like to think the next wave are things like @totheralistair’s Heart of Agile or Andy Hunt’s Grows Method. But I am curious to hear what others think the next-big-thing may be?


I am with @ryan on this. To some degree we need to look at the past to move to the future. Jim Highsmith promoted needing a different practice for every project. Andy Hunt made remarks to the same when the did the NCR project on his interview. The Crystal family had notes of this. The next step in Agile are Meta Frameworks. Which are collection of practice to solve delivery challenges in organizations.

If you look at that Diagram any and all of the practice can be decoupled and assembled to provide ways to deliver in an Agile fashion. The issue becomes that there are 100’s of practice and no centralized way to look at why they may help in one way or another. When I was working with Alistair on the Heart of Agile one thing he and I discussed was creating a database of practice to that tied to one the the 4 blocks. I have rekindled that exercise and hope to complete it over the course of 2017 and will be making that available to the community.

I am working at a large global financial firm currently and they have a cool blend of DAD, Lean Startup, Spotify, and a few other. They continue to experiment and prove that pieces they pull in work together but that is just there UK Space. The US space is a bit stubborn and unwilling to embrace these practice of experimentation and finding what works, which is frustrating. Even though these two Lines of business will have different execution models they can be monitored by the same metrics framework for a globe performance indicator for over 800 teams. Flow, Quality, Happyness, Fluency, and Business Value.

I have submitted to speak on this metrics framework at several conference so hopefully someone bites. I anyone would like to get involved in the Agile Practice Database let me know.


Agree. I’m still holding out for agile as the next big thing.

Can’t really think about “what’s next?” until we’ve achieved the intended thing in the first place. What we have today is generally not what was envisioned, then.

Not sure it needs to look like anything in particular, but it surely isn’t SAFe or the subway-map abortion that Deloitte spewed out.



I love the simplicity and people aspects of the new wave; GROWS, Heart of Agile, and I will thrown in Joshua Kerievsky Modern Agile. These are all attempts to maintain the purity of Agile given it is such an overloaded term, and has been so abused over the years. I applaud their efforts, but it is disappointing we are in this mess in the first place.

I am not sure what is next to be honest. I do tend to think we will see a revival of the Technical Excellence practices of XP. If there is one thing that most agree on, it is the fact that they are needed to deliver value sooner.

One hope I have is that the methodologists and thought leaders pushing their frameworks unite under one umbrella and revive the shared vision of making the world of software development a better place.


Johanna Rothman and a few others are engaged in a project with Agile Alliance and PMI to create a guide to agile practices.


Perhaps I’m still punch drunk from the prior decade, but I tend to think anything with the PMI may be a hair… um, gold plated.


(had this same conversation elsewhere earlier this morning :wink: )

When I first saw this – after my initial ‘wow, what a mess’ reaction – I wondered, what does Deloitte DO with this?

The author describes that here:

and you can download a build-out of the slide.

The build-out starts with scrum and xp. I suspect it is an effective tool for Deloitte sales when working the C level execs who have heard of most of these buzz words.

It’s not as accurate as it should be from a practice relationship viewpoint, but it’s the most extensive attempt at an ‘agile practices relationship model’ that I have seen and rather interesting in that respect.

CTOs and CIOs at Fortune 500 companies respond well to this type of thing. I get asked about some of these relationships often and would honestly like to have a better simpler model of this in my back pocket for some of those conversations.

I suspect Deloitte’s salesman use this quite effectively IF they can speak accurately enough to it to bedazzle the CxO.

I’m not suggesting that Deloitte has right level of experience to really help companies reach true organizational agility, but like Dean’s Big Picture, Deloitte has generated a complex picture that execs can and will relate to… So I expect it will help Deloitte sell more ‘agile’.



No doubt in my mind about sales being a driver. I’m reminded that, compared to rules and methods, asking people to think is a hard sell.



There’s definitely a trend towards pulling in more org change and business/leadership practices into agile. There’s also a strong pull from the traditional change world to “do more agile things” so I suspect Agile + Certification will dominate the next 4 - 5 years.

I’ve already seem Certified Agile Marketer and expect more of that as traditional industry gets sucked into the vortex. I think most agile folks who’ve been doing this for a decade will invent more ‘modern agile’ type of models as the traditionalists bastardize 4 simple values into money making machines.

I don’t think any of it bad, everyone will find their groove. Even the Deloitte stuff wasn’t intended to be a prescriptive framework, it’s just a map…just like the one the Agile Alliance released, but with more stuff. I think it speaks to how much stuff has been reinvented in the name of agile over the last decade.


Great insight @jasonlittle - happy to see you on here.


Nailed it ! @jasonlittle


@mccallam2 nailed it with Modern Agile, and now with @jasonlittle here I can’t do the ass-kissy thing about Lean Change Management.

Agile organizations that work in a unified fashion are less concerned with Agile as a product and more concerned with working software as products. I’ve been amazed at the technology around CD pipelines and Sonar Lint adding valuable clean code as we work. Technologists and Business pairing throughout the day to bring value. Lean experimentation to fuel new cards and products being written. It’s a combination of all those things that should be next.

But most likely it will take a long time for that to truly spread. :slight_smile:


I’m dreading the day when Prosci releases their “Certified Agile Change Manager” credential. I imagine someone will take Modern Agile and make a method and certification out of that too. To each their own, I think instead of fighting it, we rally around those that don’t want/need it and let the big companies do whatever they want.


We are meant to be talking with Joshua of Modern Agile on the podcast, I will see if there are certification plans there. Perhaps its blind optimism, but I would think if they were looking to certify, they would have already…


Please god no


Oh, I don’t mean Joshua will…I bet someone else will change a few words about what he created and make some enterprisey, certified thing-a-ma-bob out of it.


Ill pretend the “Please god no” is about certs, and not my sub-par interviewing prowess…


Do you want the real answer or the smartass one???


I can tell you with absolute certainty there are no plans for certifying Modern Agile. And Josh will intervene should someone try to go that path. He cares deeply about this.

He actually scolded me when we were chatting recently… I used “framework” somehow in our conversation about MA and he (politely) reminded me, “Zach, let’s take a moment to consider our words. MA is principle driven and framework free.”

Haha. Oops! :slight_smile:


I think the next step for agility to improve in large organizations are ways to flatten the organization because most large org’s are not agile in business nor tech. They think they are but they have no idea. I am not sure who leads the way for other orgs to follow epecially in the eastern US.