The Weidenhammer Blog

Agile is not ________________ (fill in the blank).

Posted on: March 28th, 2014 | Category: Technology

Recently, I read some interesting articles with titles like ‘Agile is not Scrum’ and ‘Agile ≠ a Methodology’. This got me to thinking about how to parse through the jargon and get to the heart of what Agile and other IT Software Development concepts really are in order to better understand such articles (both of which I enjoyed reading).

I set about to quantify the following concepts on a broad spectrum of terminology. First, I looked to Merriam-Webster to get to the real definition of industry words that one can find used correctly, used interchangeably, or used incorrectly by many of us in the industry as well as those penning journal articles about such matters. I have included only relevant (for IT Project Management) definitions from Merriam-Webster for the following terms: Values, Principles, Framework, Methodology (Methods), Processes, and Practices.

Once I retrieved the definitions, I did some research about the IT Project Development concepts in order to lay out where they might fit best into this terminology. I used a good ole Excel worksheet to mark a concept with a 5-green (if the concept fits the term very well), a 4-yellow (if it fits somewhat well), and a 3-orange (if the concept fits loosely). Notice that I put what many consider agile methodologies directly under Agile itself, which is really just a set of values and principles.

Since this is a first pass, and I do not claim to be an expert on many of these, I invite comments and discussion, about what you think of this approach and anywhere I went way off base!

Concepts

  • Agile
    • Scrum
    • Adaptive Software Development
    • Crystal
    • DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development)
    • XP (Extreme Programming)
    • FDD (Feature Driven Development)
    • LEAN Development
  • Six Sigma
  • Kanban
  • EVO (Evolutionary Project Management)
  • RUP (Rational Unified Process)
  • PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge)
  • PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments, version 2)
  • TSP/PSP (Team Software Process/Personal Software Process)
  • Spiral
  • JAD (Joint Application Design)
  • Waterfall

Terms

Values

3:  relative worth, utility, or importance <a good value at the price> <the value of base stealing in baseball> <had nothing of value to say>

7:  something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable <sought material values instead of human values>

Principles

1a:  a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption

b (1):  a rule or code of conduct (2):  habitual devotion to right principles <a man of principle>

c:  the laws or facts of nature underlying the working of an artificial device

Framework

1a:  a basic conceptional structure (as of ideas) <the framework of the United States Constitution>

b:  a skeletal, openwork, or structural frame

2:  frame of reference

3:  the larger branches of a tree that determine its shape

Methodology

1:  a body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline:  a particular procedure or set of procedures

2:  the analysis of the principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular field

Method

1:  a procedure or process for attaining an object: as

a (1):  a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art (2):  a systematic plan followed in presenting material for instruction

b (1):  a way, technique, or process of or for doing something (2):  a body of skills or techniques

2:  a discipline that deals with the principles and techniques of scientific inquiry

3a:  orderly arrangement, development, or classification:  plan

b:  the habitual practice of orderliness and regularity

Processes

1: a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result

2:  a series of actions or operations conducing to an end; especially:  a continuous operation or treatment especially in manufacture

Practice

1a:  carry out, apply <practice what you preach>

b:  to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually <practice politeness>

c:  to be professionally engaged in <practice medicine>

2a:  to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient <practice the act>

b:  to train by repeated exercises <practice pupils in penmanship>

 

Values

Principles

Framework

Methodology

Processes

Practices

Agile

5

5

 

 

 

 

Scrum

5

5

4

4

Adaptive Software Development

5

4

3

4

Crystal

5

3

3

 

DSDM

4

5

4

3

 

XP

4

4

4

3

 

FDD

3

5

 

LEAN

 

5

4

 

 

4

Six Sigma

 

4

 

3

5

4

Kanban Development

3

5

EVO

5

4

4

 

RUP

5

4

 

PMBOK

3

3

4

5

 

PRINCE2

3

3

5

4

 

TSP/PSP

5

4

 

Spiral

3

5

 

JAD

5

 

Waterfall

 

 

5

5

4

4

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Kurt Bauder

Kurt Bauder

Kurt Bauder is a Project Manager and Senior Business Consultant with Weidenhammer Systems Corporation. He has over 14 years of Information Technology experience as a Project Manager, Senior Business Analyst, and IT Consultant with roles in requirements development, project management, software testing, and implementation. His expertise includes requirements elicitation, project planning and control, BI cube analysis, process flow modeling, cost control, project lifecycle, risk management, and quality control. Kurt is an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University teaching business courses to adult learners online. Kurt is a PMP Credential holder and a MCTS in MS Project 2007 and MS Project Server 2007. He has a MBA with a finance concentration from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.