The Third Wave of Agile


We can view the history of Agile as a social movement comprising three waves. Each wave represents a developmental phase in the practice of Agile that has changed the nature of the movement, while increasing the sweep of its influence. A wave begins when people begin to organize around innovative practices to solve a problem and as it grows in magnitude a distinct community of practice begins to emerge. At first, as the emergent community searches for answers, divergent opinion grows. Later on, when the community assimilates differences, opinions converge. When practices stabilize and a consensus forms on how to use them to consistently achieve good results, the wave is complete. A new wave begins and the cycle is repeated when the community of practice shifts its attention to a new problem. Below is a simple illustration of the three waves of the Agile social movement.

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