Agile Forest

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A few weeks ago I had a joy of returning to Washington DC to attend the 2019 Agile Alliance conference. The last time I attended the conference was in 2015 when there was a high focus on scaled approaches as the new kid on the block. This time, I found a lot was the same but also some new concepts so let’s take a look at the key trends.

  1. A very strong shift away from process and methods towards values, prinicples and mindset.
    It seems the day of over-indexing on process and tools over individuals and interactions has finally ended. There were certainly way more talks on the softer side of agile than there was in process, practices and techniques.
  2. The introduction of a ‘self care’ track.
    Somewhat aligned with shift towards the softer side of Agile, this new track is finally recognising the challenge that many Agile Coaches face in keeping up their personal momentum and health when potentially having little support mechanisms inside of an organisation that they are helping to change.
  3. A strong focus on coaching skills and capabilities
    Not entirely unexpected or new, but it was great to see conferences moving away from basic or ‘introductory’ content to support the continued growth of those who have been doing agile for a few years. This is a sign that Agile is continuing its momentum by not just focussing on Scrum Masters and Product Owners.
  4. Clean language and NLP. According to a few other coaches this is not new and has been around for the last few years but I seemed to have missed the messaging on this. The intent behind this isn’t too dissimilar to Non-Violent Communication, in that it is a way of deliberately using/choosing language to limit interpretation or suggestive reframing.

In addition to these new trends what stayed the same included:

  1. A continued focus on technical practices, especially associated with automated testing and DevOps
  2. A continued growth of focus on Business Agility, but still not a lot of stories of people doing this and still quite a bit of confusion on how to apply Integral in this space.
  3. Great corridor conversations! Stay tuned to a few of these turning up on the Agile Revolution Podcast.

One thought on “4 global trends from Agile 2019

  1. It’s good to see the shift. I suspect it’s probably because there are numerous training providers to help cover the more introductory aspects, so it’s not so important to keep hammering away at it in conferences (some 20 years on!), and the adoption curve is probably levelling off.

    I think it’s highly important that the key Agile conferences really do focus on “the items on the left” more than those on the right…

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