Agile with a 'little a' or a 'big A'

Keith Richards
26 Oct 2017

I seemed to have kicked off quite an engaging post on LinkedIn regarding 'what is agile?' and I received a post from Larry Moore that I thought was quite interesting.

The LinkedIn post is on and so is my reply to Larry (see also below)

I have been involved with agile…or do I mean Agile, for 20 years now and the ‘little a’/ ‘big A’ debate has always passed me by because, a) I thought it was pedantry and b) the conversation typically starts with ‘big A’ Agile, and then becomes more general as the wider implications to the organisation are considered.

Most people initially getting in touch with agileKRC, talk about the need to ‘go Agile’. They hear a lot about frameworks such as Scrum and AgilePM/DSDM (both of which pre-date the Agile Manifesto). Quite quickly, people soon realise that this is not an easy undertaking and has a wider impact e.g. such as with organisational culture.

Having said that, I will be more careful in future when using the term agile/Agile.

Larry's comment does lead me to feel that the point of my previous blog post (, and the LinkedIn post, is that the situation could be a lot worse than I thought!

My point being that if you are going and being ‘Agile/agile’, you still need to have it clearly defined. Further to this (and this is the big question), what are you going to measure to demonstrate that you are now ‘Agile/agile’ or at least, show how far have you gone down that road?

Larry's post also resonated with me in that I am involved with many organisations at home and abroad who are defining strategic goals and implementing strategies to help with ‘corporate agility’. I think the ‘little a’/ ’big A’ point, leads to confusion on a much grander scale there!


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