I’m not a big fan of predictions, but I was asked to make some comments about what I think 2012 will bring for the agile community. This is what I think…
I think 2012 will see a potential backlash against agile, as more large companies try it and fail.
I think this will create more scepticism about agile success stories and will cause agile enthusiasts to try to back away from the term agile and instead talk about agile in different terms. I can see signs of this already and I believe it will be magnified next year.
Having said that, I also think the challenges that most businesses face today – such as the rapid pace of change, economic uncertainty, consumerisation of IT – mean that more and more businesses will need to act decisively to transform their cultures and practices. They will need to make their companies faster to market, more innovative, more adaptive, and more responsive to customer needs.
This even greater need for business agility and competitive advantage will continue to drive agile methods into the mainstream, moving further into large corporates and government, as well as the more natural place of media and technology companies.
Concepts like Continuous Delivery, Adaptive Leadership, Lean Startup and Beyond Budgeting will begin to elevate agile methods to the next level, where agile is a means to an end, and the real goal is to accelerate the creation of business value.