Did we need a more diverse Agile Manifesto?

Did we need a more diverse Agile Manifesto?

You are currently viewing Did we need a more diverse Agile Manifesto?

My daughter Rhiannon is a social worker. And I’ve learned from her that my definition of diversity is much shallower than hers. She has a broad, deep, and nuanced view of it and I’m learning to appreciate hers and broaden my own.

It’s just part of my ongoing efforts to challenge myself to keep learning.

That being said, it made me think differently the other day when I was reading the Agile Manifesto again. And it dawned on me that –

  • There are 17 signatories to the Manifesto

  • All 17 were men

  • All seemed to be at or approaching middle age at the time (probably well beyond by now)

  • All were white

  • All were software developers with the possible exception of Brian Marick (he was the token tester 😉

And I began to wonder, what would the manifesto have looked like if there were more diversity in the group?

  • What if there were more gender, racial, and age/generational diversity?

  • What if there were more work experience and role diversity?

  • What if there were more cultural and national diversity?

  • What if…

You get the point. While I’m not sure what this would have specifically done to change the existing Manifesto, I’m fairly certain it would have changed it.

I’m not suggesting we need to do something to the Manifesto. What I am suggesting is that when you explore agile in your corporate context and you review the Manifesto, related methods, models, frameworks, etc. that you do it from the perspective of as broadly diverse a team as possible.

We really need to move from 17 middle aged white guys setting the tone for a revolution to a much more inclusive and nuanced group. And it could start with you.

And BTW: this is coming from a slightly over the hill, advanced middle aged, white guy…

Stay agile my friends,


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