Modern Agile Now What?

So what is the answer? What is the silver bullet to fix Agile? The truth is there is no one perfect solution. But we can make progress through a few core principles:

  1. Use something like a Kanban board to visually track work and impose work-in-progress limits. This creates focus and flow. Use WIP (Work In Progress) limitations to keep clear understanding of exactly what people are working on.

  2. Don’t default to daily standups. Instead, expect team members to regularly update status on the board. Standups can occur when needed.

  3. Enable direct communication between developers and customers without gatekeepers or barriers. This sharing of context and feedback is invaluable.

  4. Have regular 1-on-1s between managers and developers to address blockers, challenges, and career growth. Don’t outsource this to tools.

  5. Judge team and individual effectiveness based on actual outcomes delivered, not on metrics like velocity. Outcomes matter.

  6. Make meetings purposeful and goal-oriented. End when the objective is achieved, whether that takes 5 minutes or 2 hours. No more ritual over substance.

This structure values individuals over processes, working solutions over reports, customer partnership over contracts, and responding to change over rigid plans. It provides enough framework for focus while maximizing human judgement over policies.

There is no silver bullet in software development. But by combining engaged leadership, mission-driven teams, user partnership, and adaptable processes, we can deliver amazing things. Let’s reinvent Agile by returning to its roots - people over plans.

See also