“How can we balance agility and stability?”

… is a question I have been hearing since 2003, or so. As far as I can remember, I wrote my first piece with an ISBN in 2004 on that subject (“Agil, aber Stabil”, GI Jahresband)

But I don’t really get it.

What is there to balance?

I hear people arguing that agile would be harmful because the interfaces (be it APIs or human-machine-interfaces) could “change any time.” Or that requirements would change so quickly in agile, that it would not be possible to achieve bigger goals.

That’s actually not what was intended originally. The “Systems Metaphor” in XP (one of the first agile Methods) was meant to be extremely stable. And Scrums original 30 day iteration was meant to protect the team from ever changing requirements.

There even was a thing called “release planning” in Scrum – planning concerned with long term goals.

Most agile methods actually promote stability – the agility is about adapting to changing situations and especially adjusting the process.

So there is no need to balance agility and stability. Adopting agile practices –especially when enriched with some Kanban and Lean thinking– actually creates stability.

till next time
  Michael Mahlberg

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