Agile: Myths and Truths



By Laurence Nicholson

Founder and Managing Director
N Cubed Consulting

United Kingdom



  1. Agile: What is all the fuss about?

Today there are conferences, forums, professional coaches, expanded techniques, optimised agility, even specialist ‘Agile’ recruiters. So what is all the fuss about?

In this article I will take a look at the history of this type of software development technique, what the current incarnation is promising adopters and what are some of the truths from the front line. I will also highlight some of the elements ‘Agile’ struggles to deal with from a business perspective.

In my breakfast briefings I expand more on the things you will need to consider as an executive thinking about how ‘Agile’ would benefit your business and if you should adopt it. (Contact me to find out more about these events).

  1. What is Agile


2.1.     History

Incremental software development methods have been traced as far back as 1957at IBM’s ‘Service Bureau Corporation’, which was superseded after a paper by E. A. Edmonds in 1974, introduced an adaptive software development process.

Concurrently and independently the same methods were developed and deployed by the New York Telephone Company’s Systems Development Center under the direction of Mr Dan Gielan. During the mid to late 1970s Mr. Gielan lectured extensively throughout the U.S. on this methodology, its practices, and its benefits.


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About the Author

pmwj41-Dec2015-Nicholson-PHOTOLaurence Nicholson

Founder and Managing Director, N Cubed Consulting
United Kingdom



Laurence Nicholson
is an Interim Executive focusing on Operations, Complex Programmes and Transformation Direction with an extremely broad and flexible professional background, extending across finance, procurement, pricing, operations, software development & techniques, consulting and PMO evaluation & governance. He is also a Certified Agile ScrumMaster .

He is experienced in operating in numerous industries within the private sector as well as in the public sector for local and central government including NHS. He has operated at CxO level, led consulting teams as department head, provided executive coaching to senior leaders in large global organisations, and contributes to global on-line Project Management resources, published in numerous languages.

His core skill is solving business’ strategic and/or operational crises, turning around and transforming organisations’ prospects, mainly through understanding their issues quickly from a ‘business, technology and people’ aspect, re-aligning diverging people, helping with potential cultural integration, and improving operational processes.

Above all, he has the insight to quickly diagnose challenges, the toughness to deal with them and the personality to build external and internal relationships that create sustainable solutions.

Mr. Nicholson can be contacted through the N Cubed Consulting website at http://www.ncubedconsultingltd.co.uk/ contact us page, or at [email protected]