AINO: Agile In Name Only

It is well known that many organization who claim to have adopted the Prince2 project management method, are in fact using PINO (Prince2 In Name Only). Likewise, I want to suggest the acronym AINO (Agile In Name Only) for those cases where there is a significant gap between preaching and practising the agile approach.

It turns out that Aino is in fact the name of a fictional poetic character who refused to marry an old man and decided to drown herself instead. The name Aino was the most popular name for girls in Finland in 2006.

I am telling you all this because of yet another survey on agile adoption, published by Methods & Tools. The editor correctly points out that people claiming to have adopted an agile method may in fact only be preaching it.

“When software development practices are more widely accepted, the number of adopting organizations increases, but the substance of valid usage of this practices decreases. The answers to surveys tend then to be biased towards what should be the correct answer instead of reflecting the reality of the software development context.”

I think we can be certain that there are lots of Aino’s walking around. Not only in Finland, but everywhere in our software development industry. Still, when facing the numerous success stories of real agile software development, these Aino’s might in the end simply drown themselves.

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