In this article of January 2002, Alistair Cockburn writes about agility as a continuous improvement path, an aspiration to reach a goal more then a fixed state.
So we are not agile or anything else, talking about sw dev methodologies: we would-be-agile or would-be-anything (repeatable, predictable, rigorous …). It depend on where the team wants to put his focus on.
So the goal is not to BE the ‘XP picture’ (as Francesco Cirillo says), but following a continuous improvement path following defined principles.
So here is a possible definition of Agility extracted from Mr. Cockburn’s paper:
“Agile” refers to maneuverability, the ability to respond to changes in the environment. Would-be-agile software development means that the team decides to focus on being able to incorporate ongoing requirements changes without great trauma
For My Cockburn, this can be done with four characteristics:
- Using short sujprojects
- Reflecting on their practices
- Working in close location
- Attending to community
Have a look at the whole article!