A New Paradigm/Chasm Emerges

While many Agilists have been celebrating attempting to adopt Agile as crossing the chasm, it’s been little noticed that we’re on the edge of a new paradigm. While not yet named, it’s been called “FLOW”, “product development flow”, and “business agility”, among others. This paradigm shift goes beyond Lean’s paradigm shift (which Agile has not yet embraced). Essentially, it’s both a different focus on value & a different way of getting there.

The focus is on value to the business (which, of course, is mostly comprised of value to select customers). It also has an organizational instead of team centric. Another difference is a belief that, although, or even because) product development is embedded in the complex system called an organization, it is important to attend to laws and principles of product development. But the biggest shift is that instead of focusing on frameworks to help us, we need to focus directly on the work to be done. Here are the shifts:

  1. Business-centric
  2. Focus on the system not individuals
  3. Use science of flow, systems-thinking and lean
  4. Focus directly on what we’re trying to achieve instead of frameworks Paradigm shifts are shifts in beliefs.

This is not the same as putting flow or Lean into Agile.

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