Reimagine Agile: Back to Basics, Forward to the Future

In 2001, the “lightweight” methodology community was the size of a marble, while today, it is expansive. In 2001, the internet was just unfolding; today, AI is ascendant. In 2001, the Agile Manifesto had software development in mind. Today, Agility applies at all enterprise levels.

The ability to adapt to constant change and uncertainty, be it with software development or business activities, may be the single greatest competitive advantage in the 21st century. Resilient, sustainable, and adaptable digital capabilities and operating models will play an integral role in determining the winners and losers.  

Agile and Agility will be core capabilities to modernize enterprises, key to operating at the speed of technological innovation. As each new opportunity or threat appears, a modern business will be able to deploy its people and resources fluidly, guaranteeing businesses remain relevant in the future.

 The Agile community has modernized software development and more; maybe it’s time to turn our transforming and reimagining skills inward, taking stock of the changes in our world since 2001. The Agile Manifesto set a movement in motion. But it was written in the context of those times. 

We propose the following:

  • First, it is time to reimagine Agile by clarifying and strengthening Agile fundamentals, making them more accessible. For example, Alistair Cockburn’s “Heart of Agile” or Josh Kerievsky’s “Modern Agile.” 
  • Second, Agile needs to be “extended” to respond to the relevant issues in 2023 and beyond. An example would be David Pereira’s Agile Product Manifesto which reflects fundamental Agile values but “extends” them into the world of product management. 

Call to Action

A small group of individuals had an impromptu meeting at Agile2023, followed by several conversations. Our focus evolved to put a fundamental question to the Agile community. 

“Is it time to reimagine Agile, to make it accessible to everyone, refreshing what needs to endure and extending Agile to Agility and new horizons?” 

It is long past the time when 17, or even 100, people can speak for this huge community. We need to share this journey with a broad and diverse audience, asking questions like: 

  • Are you interested in exploring with us?
  • How do we begin this Agile reimagination journey?
  • How do we make Agile and Agility flourish?

Our purpose is to get the “Reimagine Agile” journey ball rolling. How far it rolls will depend on the rest of the community. Please share this initiative, with your comments, with your social network.


Jon Kern, Agile Manifesto Co-author, Agile Consultant Adaptavist
Heidi Musser, Board Chair, Agile Alliance, CxO, Board Member & Advisor
Sanjiv Augustine, CEO, LitheSpeed, Author
Jim Highsmith, Agile Manifesto Co-author, Author

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Leave a comment below, or join the Reimagining Agile LinkedIn Group and continue the conversation.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They may not represent the opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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