5 Agile News Stories And Articles Every PM Should Read In 2020

As agile expands its reach, more of us are interested in the agile news stories, trends, and conversations that are shaping our increasingly agile world. 

This year, we’ve already featured interesting agile stories (such as our International Women’s Day piece on Women in Agile: 6 Femme Agilistas and Transformative Leaders We Love), but there are several more thought-provoking agile news articles released by top thinkers in the agile field this year.

Here’s a curated list of current agile news stories and articles written in 2020, who wrote them, what they’re about, and why you shouldn’t miss them. 

1. Agile challenges and opportunities in 2020, what do you think? 

From Mike Cohn’s blog, Mountain Goat Software

In this agile article/video combination, Mike sits down with Lance Dacy, an agile trainer, where they have an open and down-to-Earth discussion about where agile is headed this year. 

The two agile experts talk about the challenges they see in the agile industry, and the types of challenges organizations face when becoming more agile. They also share their thoughts on agile certification and how relevant they think it is to the agilist’s career path. 

Why you shouldn’t miss it:

This agile article is a dose of real, truthful conversation in a space that’s oversaturated with lofty best practice advice. Plus, there’s a video of the entire conversation, so it makes for an easy “read”. 

2. ChatOps, DevOps, ScrumOps and 5 Other Ops religions

By Grace Barnott

This agile article is a must-read for anyone who is involved in enterprise-scale lean or agile transformations—and anyone who has been confused by the recent proliferation of “Ops” fields. 

This article provides an overview of common names such as DevOps, ScrumOps, ServiceOps, InfraOps, CloudOps, ChatOps, AppOps, and even EnterpriseOps. These are all slightly different, and in the article, author Grace Barnott sums up why more companies are adopting “Ops” and how each is similar to, different from, or related to other fields.

Why you shouldn’t miss it:

If you didn’t know there were so many Ops, now you do. Read Grace’s article and understand the goals of each field of practice and how it fits into the IT industry today. 

3. 10 Predictions for the Unpredictable Agile World 

By Dave West

This future-facing agile news article is a summary from one of the top thinkers in Scrum today—Dave West, Product Owner and CEO at Scrum.org. 

This article provides 10 digestible summaries where David weighs in on the changes he observes within the agile field of practice, and where he thinks those agile trends are taking us. 

You’ll find lots of evidence that agile is moving far beyond the software development world, with many core concepts of agile becoming pillars of mainstream business philosophy. 

Why you shouldn’t miss it:

The agile predictions in this article provide insight to help you form new perspectives about the agile discipline—not only on a team or process level, but on a business, economic, and even cultural level. 

4. Demystifying SAFe: How To Work With Agile At Scale

By Tim Jackson

This is actually a webinar, but it’s worth tuning into. Watch the recording and learn from Tim Jackson, a Scaled Agile Programme Consultant SPC5 at Radtac, who has been working in agile and software for the past 12 years. 

In the video, he walks through the SAFe framework and covers off the key steps of their implementation roadmap, which helps you learn how to implement SAFe based on the feedback of hundreds of teams who have gone before you.

Why you shouldn’t miss it:

Discussions about implementing agile at scale can quickly grow lofty and theoretical—how do you actually do it? Tim’s advice is grounded in real practice and very valuable for any organization—even client-side folks and agencies—in their journey to adopting agile at scale.

And once you’re done learning about SAFe, forget everything you thought you knew and move on to this juice agile blog article: 

5. Beware SAFe (the Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise), an Unholy Incarnation of Darkness

By Sean Dexter

You read that right—author Sean Dexter actually refers to SAFe as an “unholy incarnation of darkness”. 

The article begins by likening SAFe to the antichrist, so you know this is going to be a good read. But beyond the humor that makes this agile article fun to read, you’ll also find a pointed and refreshingly honest viewpoint about why agile doesn’t work on a scaled-up basis. 

Why you shouldn’t miss it:

If you’re struggling with SAFe or thinking about scaling up your agile operations, don’t miss this article. 

You should even read it if you think you’ve successfully implemented a scaled agile framework—after reading Sean’s detailed explanations of why it’s unnecessarily complex, limiting, focused on the wrong things, and not even agile (gasp!), you’ll be motivated to investigate whether or not SAFe is actually working for your organization the way you intended. 

Any agile news tips?

These are the best agile articles we’d recommend starting with, but we’re happy to add to the list. If you’ve got an agile news story, research paper, case study, or other interesting agile news, please get in touch! We’ll feature it. 
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