What is Agile doctrine?

What might Agile doctrine be?

Is it just the Agile Manifesto?

  • It was not really the intention of the Agile Manifesto to act as doctrine… despite that many new Agilists treat it as such;
  • The Agile Manifesto was the result of compromise, the lowest common denominator set of values and principles that a group of people could agree upon;
  • The Agile Manifesto hasn’t been updated since 2001 (i.e., as of this writing 20 years). To borrow a phrase from John Boyd: Don’t treat the Agile Manifesto as doctrine because an awful lot has happened in 20 years;
  • 12 principles is a lot to keep in working memory… and I’d prefer a doctrine that most people will remember without having to look it up… at least for the base version.

What about Extreme Programming?

A proposed Agile doctrine

1. Reduce the distance between problems and problem-solvers

  1. Physical distance;
  2. Conceptual distance, that is, how conceptually accessible the problem is to the problem-solvers. This leads to things like making the problems visible, better techniques to model the problem, etc.

2. Validate every step

  • What is the desired outcome?
  • Why are you taking this step? Does it move you toward the desired outcome?
  • How would you know the step was done and successful?

3. Take smaller steps

4. Clean up as you go

So what?




Staff Agile Coach at Spotify, ex-ThoughtWorks, ex-CruiseControl

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Jason Yip

Jason Yip

Staff Agile Coach at Spotify, ex-ThoughtWorks, ex-CruiseControl

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