The Opposite of Agile is Fear

By: Johnathon Wright on: December 14, 2007

Abstractly speaking, what makes a group agile? You can get a list of practices from various XP sites. I'm looking beyond the patterns and practices. If you look at the core of agile, why did these practices come about?

While thinking about this, I went down the proof-by-contradiction path. How can you prove that a group is not agile? What are possible characteristics of such a group?

It seems that one contra-positive to Agile is Fear. (This is ironical, since I often refer to Agile as The Force a la Star Wars, and Fear is the path to the Dark Side.)

Here's an example of how fear leads to a non-agile mentality:

We can't x because it might break everything.

This seems like an air-tight argument. No one like "everything" to be broken.

The possibility that "everything could break" really makes it difficult to even ask follow-up questions, because you could look insane . Do you want everything to break?

How likely is it? What leads you to that conclusion?

I've heard this argument before. The driving force behind the argument seemed to be that the result, breaking everything, was so heinous that the likelihood just didn't matter.

And that's just silly.


Just checking that you are human. What would be the result of this code?

a = 3*(4/2); b = 1; a+b