Bob Jiang | 敏捷教练 | Scrum Master

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Agile is not quick

Posted at — Dec 27, 2018 阅读

Agile is not agile

Definition of agile 1 : marked by ready ability to move with quick easy grace e.g an agile dancer 2 : having a quick resourceful and adaptable character e.g an agile mind

– from

From above information, there is a word “quick” in both definition. So many people believes Agile is “agile”, which means “quick”.

Manifesto for Agile Software Development came out in 2001 by 17 software prioneers.

From Manifesto for Agile Software Development (Agile Manifesto), there is no “quick”.

Why people believe Agile is agile (quick)

I think most of them from agile definition in dictionary. But there are 2 other key words in definition:

Agile is easy and adaptable


Let's start from adaptable. I love adaptable more than agile. (Although agile is more acceptable by audience now). Because it's VUCA world, super complex context, if we would like to win the market, the adaptable ability is the key.

The rules of the game in new product development are changing. Many companies have discovered that it takes more than the accepted basics of high quality, low cost, and differentiation to excel in today’s competitive market. It also takes speed and flexibility.

– New New Product Development Game by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka, 1986 HBR

The Origion of Scrum, it mentions the flexibility as well besides speed (quick).

So The adaptable is most important part of agile.


Easy is easily ignored in Agile. Most people thinks Agile is useful/suitable for complex product. But they miss the “how” part.

How to start with Agile?

Except Scrum/XP or other famous framework, if we would like to use agile, we should start from easy part.

Let's say, MVP from product, or a baby step from feature, it's an easy thing.

We could start from split user story


Now how do you think agile?

What is agile?

any ideas, you could raise an issue or by email bob at

thanks a lot :)