Is that a gorilla I see over there?

A topic that I frequently run into at customers is the maturity of Agile. I usually present my matching of ‘Agile’ on the Technology Adoption Life Cycle with the Hype Cycle for Application Development. To show the evolution of Agile, and its outgrowing of the stage of anecdotal evidence.

Specific to the Technology version -for new high-tech paradigms- of the Adoption Life Cycle is the chasm, introduced by Geoffrey Moore. A phase of stagnation between Early Market and Bowling Alley. Of unpredictable length. And some products even never get out of it. Scary.

In the post-chasm period the viable market forms, and a gorilla rises, an absolute market leader. Alternatively the market leader may turn out to be ‘merely’ a king, much more vulnerable to being overthrown.

An important and disruptive innovation in itself, Agile is past the chasm. It’s probably in the Bowling Alley, maybe approaching the Tornado. At the same time Agile processes are applied to develop products that are subject to the (T)ALC. Best fit because there’s no time to stabilize into Main Street. And Agile offers just that flexibility while assuring a return.

At the same time I observe the increasing number of Agile players that is referencing Scrum. Practitioners, trainers, thought leaders, customers, etc. On blogs, forums, in trainings, papers, etc. You name it. Positively (“this is great, we also do it“) or more disapproving (“this doesn’t work, we do it like this“). Although personally convinced that they’d better highlight their own methods’ merits and strengths, I don’t oppose to it.

And Scrum prospers from it. Free publicity and a trigger to keep moving. I see evidence of the latter in the rise of Scrum.org. More community oriented as an alternative to the ScrumAlliance institute will it open the Scrum offering to a wider audience.

But it gets very uncomfortable when it gets personal. Quite vicious attacks are regularly launched at the persons behind Scrum and the people doing Scrum, away from the value of the framework.

Maybe that is exactly the indication that Scrum is indeed emerging as the gorilla of the Agile methods pack…

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