Issue 58

Interview with Arie van Bennekum - about Agile Manifesto

Ovidiu Mățan
Founder @ Today Software Magazine


Ovidiu Mățan: Agile manifesto is one of the important aspects in building modern software and you are one of its founders. Could you describe what the context was back in 2001 when you and the rest of the group wrote it? What is the origin of its name?

Arie van Bennekum: I can just speak for myself, not for others. I consciously started consciously working in a different way in 1994. It was a very specific choice. I did not understand my value as technical designer, and wanted to change bureaucracy and improve on business value. Right from the start, I became very active in the community of best practices. It was one of these communities, the DSDM Consortium in the UK that I represented in Salt Lake.

The Consortium was starting a chapter in North America and the proposed chair of this chapter got me into this session. I remember we discussed the name first, right after we represented to each other our way of working. All of us worked differently for years already and the sharing was step nr. 1.

The name was the first step into the debate. I think a lot us do not know exactly how it came up, but the main idea was the fact that you shift from requirement production to value delivery, which makes the requirements changeable, even during the development.

Q: How do you see the content of the Agile Manifesto in 2017? Would you change or add something to it?

A: For me, the Manifesto is still very alive. Years ago, during my presentations, I started replacing the word "software" with "solutions". True business value lies in solutions. A solution is the assimilation of everything: change, software, processes, hardware, marketing, etc. I call this full delivery.

Q: What's your advice to the people doing SCRUM?

A: I think you ask what the advice would be for people doing Agile (is that correct?). My advice to those will be: be open to other people's best practices. Dogmatism and exclusion of achievements made by others is never a good idea and it is certainly not Agile. Being open to the improvement of someone else is easy, but being open to your own improvement is not so easy for most people.

Q: Where can we see you / talk to you in the near future?

A: My first session in Romania will be in Cluj, on April 24th at Get Agile UnConference and the following day at the Agile transformations workshop. I hope to see people there.

Q: Why should anyone participate at Get Agile Unconference?

A: The approach to Agile covers the full Agile stack and various angles on experiencing Agile. From leadership, to transformations and proper story development … it is all there.

Co-author of the 'Agile Manifesto' & thought leader at Wemanity, The Netherlands

Expert in international Agile transformations, Co-author of the Agile Manifesto and expert in Agile Project Management, team facilitation, Agile techniques and user involvement. Pragmatic in structure, discipline and common sense, from his very early days in the health care and the military forces up to now, thought leader at Wemanity, chair of the Agile Consortium International, lecturer at universities and conferences speaker.

He has developed models for organizational competencies, for the transformation process, as well as coaching types and other topics, which facilitate an Agile transformation, a not so easy job. He supports the human and organizational aspects of the transformation, creating a team of highly skilled Agilists, with various profiles from technical development coaches to psychologists.

Believing in his teams, he facilitates them to reach for their best.




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