Is Agile (=Scrum) failing ? | Balanced Agility

In 2004 Mike Beedle co-author of “Agile Development with Scrum”  (2001), put a website together: Balanced Agility. On this website he talked about that to be successful in doing agile software development you should have Scrum plus 3 practices in place:

You development Evolution can be:

  1. Start with Balanced Agility (Scrum + 3 engineering practice
  2. Add Other Engineering Practices as needed


These are the 3 minimal engineering practices:

  • Frequent Integration (configuration management, check -in, check-outs, intra day integration, etc.)
  •  Testing (unit, regression, integration, system, acceptance)
  •  Release management (labeled releases, release notes, migrations, platforms, sandboxes, deployment, etc.)

These are the exact same practices that the first Scrum in 1993 used, and the same engineering practices that I have used for most of my Scrum projects since 1996. (Mike Beedle)

When Mike presented this 2004 it was immediately criticized by the small Scrum Community in 2204. The said it does not make sense, and the name is not good and and and. Most of the people did not get Mikes point: He talked about a minimal set of engineering practices that needs to performed well to enable good agile software development. In my point of view — Mike was very right in these days. In our coachings we see again and again, that these three practices are crucial for good software development teams. (That has nothing to do with Scrum!)

Some history: I only found this post in an archive:

Mike Beedle wrote:
> The “balance” name came from picking a “balance point” between
> Scrum and XP:
> Scrum ——–BA——————————–XP
> —–>
> Scrum was too low. XP was too high. BA was “the balancing act”.

Brad Appleton wrote:
> I guess “XStart” was already taken 🙂


No XStart is probably available. But I don’t necessarily advocate 
going in the eXtreme direction. If it makes sense for your team, 
sure, why not? (But not all teams should go X.)

(I do believe getting to XP is a good thing, but not 
necessarily the only possible destination.)

The name “Balanced Agility” means balance in terms of:

* effort 
* quality
* time to implement 
* development speed
* resources
* expectations
* maybe even tolerable risk

It is not best. It is minimal. It barely works — but it does.

It is simple, easy and only somewhat safe.

It is a “Balanced” position…. not an “Extreme” position.

It is the “simplest thing that would work”, not “the best”
or “optimal extreme”,

– Mike


One response to “Is Agile (=Scrum) failing ? | Balanced Agility

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