By Brian Lucas
“Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.” – Marcus Aurelius
“When we see a natural style, we are astonished and charmed; for we expected to see an author, and we find a person.” – Blaise Pascal
So many blogs feature articles from noted personalities or conversations with one of the founding members of the Agile Manifesto – and that’s great. However, I would like to celebrate something different here. It is a misconception that agile is a new discovery that happened back in February of 2001, when 17 software developers met in Utah to discuss lightweight development methods.
Agile has in fact been a way-of-life for many people; since Edison was in Menlo Park or Hannibal crossed the Alps. Indeed long before that, probably reaching back to the dim memories of pre-recorded history and even prehistoric times, agile was a way of thinking for some people. This does not diminish the great work done by visionaries like Dr. Jeff Sutherland or Ken Schwaber. It simply means they did not discover; they rediscovered or actually articulated the concept to the populous.
People have been applying agile concepts naturally without any formalization of education or training, because that just happens to be the way they think. Oftentimes, I have found this to be a condition of how their minds worked as far back as they can remember. These are the people I want to celebrate in this post. They have been going about their lives and businesses, without fanfare, making good things happen by adapting to changing circumstances. In doing so they not only created opportunity for others, but advanced the condition of man in ways that are difficult to measure, since they altered and continue to affect the lives and thought processes of others.
Those of you struggling with agile can find inspiration to succeed in their stories. A few others who espouse hubris along with their agile scrum master certification will perhaps find some humility knowing that others achieved on their own what was in effect bottled, bonded and spoon fed to them. Whatever your motives, I hope you enjoy the series and if you just happen to be a natural agilist and have a story to tell; drop me a line.
 I’ll bet you thought I was going to say “but”.