By Brian Lucas
“A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.”
William James (1842-1910) American philosopher and psychologist.
The Case Against Agile: Ten Perennial Management Objections, which was well-written by Steve Denning in Forbes, clearly and quite logically trounces the rebuttal from a link submitted by PM Hut and written by Bruno Collet, The Limitations of Agile Software Development. The rebuttal shows the unfortunate limited and isolation based thinking of traditional management and typifies the significant lack of enlightenment and acceptance of a pervasive reality that keeps them from moving forward in today’s business environment.
The fact is – Agile has already reached a Malcolm Gladwell “Tipping Point”. Its broad application and history of success has ensured its place, not only as the most popular method of software development, but also the very structure of enterprise organization and operation. Agile is neither new nor is it a fad. Agile is a naturally occurring evolution of thought and action that addresses Alvin Toffler’s third wave of relentless change as predicted in his seminal work, Future Shock. So the issue with the traditional hierarchic management camp is not if, but when they will finally be forced to adopt and deal with the agile philosophy! Jack Welch says in Straight from the Gut, “Change before you have to”. Unfortunately, if you are in the traditional camp; you are already behind the curve of inevitable change and likely to drown in the third wave! Till next time, keep agile!
 The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell, defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.
 As reported by so many different bodies from Harvard’s 1998 Thomke et al to the Software Engineering Institute Hosted 2012 Agile Research Forum at Carnegie Mellon.
 W. L. Gore wrote about adaptability in his groundbreaking design of the Lattice Organization Structure.
“A lattice organization is one that involves direct transactions, self-commitment, natural leadership, and lacks assigned or assumed authority. . . Every successful organization has a lattice organization that underlies the façade of authoritarian hierarchy. It is through these lattice organizations that things get done, and most of us delight in going around the formal procedures and doing things the straightforward and easy way.” –Bill Gore
This is a radical departure from the traditional hierarchic organization structure and line of authority. It represents a fundamental change in philosophy.
 Thomas Edison’s success is attributed to the use of an agile, new product development processes. Edison is the third most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. Edison established an industrial research laboratory in New Jersey (Menlo Park) in 1876. Edison was a master Agilist of the time, he practiced the following agile principles religiously:
- Continuous improvement
- Small co-located teams
- Results based innovation