The term #Agile

Many people keep using agile as a noun (me myself, I do sometimes) to referring to Scrum/XP. Probably because of the boom of agile methodologies, people usually accompany the agile principles and manifesto with a real thing to implement, such as Scrum or XP. Also, this is probably due to the fact that Scrum and XP are the specific agile methodologies most used around the world and better known. Sometimes I forget FDD is considered, for example, agile. I am pretty sure in my brain FDD and ScrumXP do NOT fall in the same category, so I do not like the idea of these being in the same bag.

The use of the term can lead to confusion if you use it with people who treat it differently. Nevertheless, most of the people is talking about “agile ScrumXP” so in general people is understanding each other somehow.

On the other hand, there is the term “methodology”. In an unfortunate event someone called it methodology. People started to realize that Agile is not a methodology but a mind-set. Method is something way far from the idea of Agile.

I personally would distinguish for the sake of clarity in this way:

– Use Agile/agile as a name (it is easy), preferable the first one, though I know most of the people will not capitalize the first letter. To distinguish both most common ways of using agile I would use Agile Origin(AO) for the principles and manifesto and Specific Agile(SA) to talk about ScrumXP or similar tool. If someone ask you what kind of Specific, you should answer Scrum, FDD or whatever you are thinking in, but by default, if you do not mention it before, it should be Scrum and XP.

– I would also talk about Extended Agile(ExA) as the combination of Scrum-XP-Lean-Kanban. The reason is that usually we include Lean and Kanban with ScrumXP since they actually seem to combine naturally.

Whatever you use, people should understand each other. At the end the main thing is communicating properly.


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