The 3 Laws of Agile - Steve Denning

Agile is a vast global movement that is transforming the world of work. The movement took off in software development in 2001 and is now spreading rapidly to all parts, and all kinds, of organizations, as recognized in 2016 by the citadel of general management—Harvard Business Review—with its article, “Embracing Agile,” by Darrell K. Rigby, Jeff Sutherland and Hirakata Takeuchi. There are already hundreds of thousands of Agile practitioners all around the world.

Yet what exactly is Agile? How do you explain Agile when there are more than forty different variants of Agile, as depicted in this graphic by Australian designer, Lynne Cazaly.



Graphic by Lynne Cazaly, reproduced with permission from a talk by Craig Smith.
Graphic by Lynne Cazaly, reproduced with permission from a talk by Craig Smith.

And what about all those Agile practices? There are more than 70 different Agile practices. Even the Agile Manifesto, with its four values and twelve principles, can be a cognitive stretch for newcomers.

How on earth can you explain such a bewildering blizzard of seemingly different ideas?

When we look closely, we can see that organizations that have embraced Agile have three core characteristics.


The following guides describe how to apply the three universal laws of agile, Steve's take on the core components to any and all Agile methods. 

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