Please Stop Saying the Word “Agile”

An idea for your consideration…

Please remove the words Lean or Agile from your communications and discussions from here forward.  Instead, replace them with the “specific” values/behaviors you want to communicate.  For example, “we should get feedback on this right away” or “we should help that team feel confident making their own decision on this topic”.  This is in contrast to “we should do Agile”, or “this is what Lean will solve”.

Please don’t misunderstand.  I believe that knowledge-work requires all of the core values that agile and lean espouse.  However, these words have been (nearly) completely co-opted by salespeople, consultants, and charlatans hoping to cash in on a brand.  Sounds super “conspiracy theory-like”, right?  Well, unfortunately it is true IMO based on lots of things, from the Bandwagon Effect, to the money to be made using these phrases.

These days, it is very easy to hide behind the word “agile” (as in, “we do agile”), and it is much/much more difficult to misinterpret — for example — “fast feedback”.

I would suggest you de-emphasize these words in your communications until your culture grows more accustomed to their meaning – and even then you might not need them.

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