Is Agile At Risk
Of Invalidation?

Greg Larkin /

I ask this question in the way that someone might stop going to church every Sunday without renouncing religion.

I have used agile to unlock incredible outcomes, and unblock seemingly unmovable barriers in many of the products and companies where I’ve worked. It’s more democratic, efficient, and aligned than every other product framework I’ve used.

And I’ve also seen it perpetuate this feeling of running to stand still. Where all the same problems that make a product or company stagnant remain firmly entrenched. Just with a morning standup and a Trello Board.

I think what I’m getting at is that too often great innovation inputs like agile, and design thinking, or AI, or VR are treated like successful outcomes rather than useful tools. These same powerful tools are relegated to shiny toys when they are not aligned with an inflection point in revenue or profitability.

It’s this innovation quarantine that I think is the big risk. Where a company appears to go all-in on lean but in reality the core business remains untouched by modernity.

It’s those situations where agile serves as false proof of change that I think it runs the risk of invalidation.

Please, talk me out of it if I’m missing something.