Agile manifesto and common sense?

Every time I perform a Kanban or Scrum training session, I introduce them to the agile manifesto. This has been defacto in the training material for a couple of years now, but lately I’ve been getting mixed reactions to the content. In the early years people were arguing that it couldn’t be done in their line of business due to xyz-restriction; however, lately people have started nodding and saying “yes, but what’s new? this is common sense in our area”.

Is it true? Should the agile manifesto be rendered obsolete and a new revision introduced?

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

Heaps of organisations have been through the CMMI-mill and discovered that there is no pot of gold at the end and have realised that agile is the way to go. They DO value individuals and interaction over rigid processes and cumbersome tools, they DO emphasize working software and business value is of greater interest than documents and contracts, etc.

What I have tried in such sessions, is to use the agile manifesto as backing material and pointing out that what they see now in their daily life was NOT common sense before the agile manifesto was introduced. That without the meeting in Utah in 2007 – there would be no agile manifesto; and we’d most likely be fighting against CMMI aligned RUP processes.

So what’s next in software development? If you ask me, the new trend is Lean with a twist of IT.

Consider this:

First we have build up a formal standard process (CMMI)

Next we realize that we are not able to adapt to changes and thusly change our process to involve users more often resulting in more correct solutions (Agile)

Finally we realize that while our processes may be delivering the right stuff to the right people, we are still doing unnecessary/inefficient work – could our backlog be prioritized better by the P.O., etc. (Lean)

Those are my two cents on the topic