Last week, I had the great fortune to attend the Agile2012 conference at the lovely Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, TX, just a short drive (at least by Texas standards) from where I live. Overall, the conference was a great experience and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to participate. I picked up a number of ideas for tools and techniques that will most likely find their way into OUM at some point. It was encouraging to hear real-world agile success stories described at a number of the sessions and to see the passion and energy from the conference attendees. Discussions with fellow agile practitioners were extremely valuable, as is usually the case at such conferences. I plan to include some of these topics in future blogs.
I found that many of the ideas we promote in OUM about balancing agility and discipline are now becoming increasingly in vogue within the agile community. Teams are finding it valuable to produce plans and documentation at the appropriate level depending on the particular project situation. Keeping an eye on enterprise architecture and establishing a solid technical architecture was a common theme in several of the sessions I attended. Whether people use the term iteration or sprint, there was a true appreciation of how the agile approach to managing projects drives out risks and identifies possible errors early on in the project. To sum it up, I got the impression from the conference that there is a growing recognition of the benefits of flexible and scalable methods like OUM.
I heard several people mention that the Wild West days of agile are coming to an end. It is my theory that the wider approval of agile techniques, coupled with the growing practice among agile teams to apply a certain amount of discipline, is probably leading to the Wild West impression fading away into the sunset. In any case, I thought the phrase was rather appropriate given the venue.What do you think? Are the Wild West days of agile coming to an end? Are those days a perception, reality or both?