So If Agile Is Dead, What’s Next… Flow?

In my recent article “Getting Into The Flow: Rethinking Agile” I seemed to have stirred a hornets nest! In fact, it was written a couple of months ago but yet every single day since, I’ve received comments or feedback. Some very positive and equally some highly critical. And whilst I do try and answer all the comments that just causes me to receive even more feedback!

So, let me start this article by using another quote from Dave Thomas (one of the creators of the Agile Manifesto) “Agile is dead, long live agility!

Damn, I’ve opened the Agile Gates of Hell again but now let’s take a different tack.

The critical feedback I received thus far comes mostly from Consultants, Project Managers, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters etc. and of course they are aggrieved because they are making a living out of the current agile model. But it was never my intention to alienate these groups and I’m sure that you will all continue to make living out of it for many years to come (after all, Waterfall is still alive & kicking).

The positive feedback I’ve received points to a groundswell of “anti-Agile” feeling, which Haydn and I would like to direct at improving how people, teams and companies work today and for us all to move towards a more adaptive model.

Imagine this new world – and we hope you will not just imagine it but also join us in making Flow even richer.

Continuous learning, continuous process co-creation, continuous improvement, as well as continuous integration and continuous value delivery.

But please, no frameworks – these are the jails that limit innovation. What is even worse are Scaled Agile Frameworks. These are universally despised by everyone forced to use them!

We argue instead for small steps towards clearly defined goals. Teams focused on identifying real value and then ensuring good outcomes. A duty of care to each other so we can ensure those outcomes.

Huge legions of people constructing software is a thing of the past. However, having many teams operating like individual startups, holistic in nature and with all the skills to go from idea to live. That’s the model we propose in Flow, and it is happening. That is how many of the tech unicorns have scaled.

As Dave Thomas said “Agile experts give you rules on how to do stuff. This is wrong because no rules are universal. All rules need context. And some people think they are important. Don’t let them tell you what to do.”

But Dave is not alone. Both Andrew Hunt and Kent Beck, who were also original co-authors of the agile manifesto, agree that it needs to be re-defined.

founding fathers

I’m sorry to have to tell you but that all this is coming from the founding Fathers of Agile. Not me.

For us, we are focusing on unleashing an agile philosophy which focuses on culture over methodologies. Haydn and I are open to input and suggestions for how to spread the word, how to scale the Flow philosophy quickly. One thing is for sure and that is we all need to move on.

So why don’t we all join forces and adapt to a new way of working. Free from rules but rich in agility. If you have something to contribute, get in touch. We’re particularly interesting in talking to people who might want to set up a Flow circle inside their business to get the ideas going; people who want to stimulate debate, maybe by setting up a forum or a Reddit strand; and people who are strong on business planning. Get in the Flow…..

You can find our book here:

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