The Agile Industrial Complex

(NOTE: This page provides a summary of background information on The Agile Imposition and the Agile Industrial Complex. This information is particularly useful for those joining the conversation across social media under the hashtag  #InviteNotImpose , and via replies and Tweets to and from the author, @DanielMezick). Date of publication: December 12, 2016.


A nearly 100% tolerance of the coercive imposing of Agile practices on teams is a cultural norm of the Agile industry. This tolerance of force is profoundly disrespectful of people. This is the most pressing issue of our time.

Agile leaders have almost nothing to say about the dangers of this widespread tolerance of imposition. Specifically, they almost never issue protective warnings or protests of any kind from the Agile conference podium, as leaders of keynotes, sessions, and workshops.

The Agile industry can make a big, serious, POSITIVE impact in the world, but not until this near-100% tolerance of imposition is reversed.

Once Upon a Time in Agile Software Development

Once upon a time, software development was viewed as a manufacturing process. A “defined process.”

“Project management” was used to manage the “defined process.”

That did not actually work out very well.

Late software projects (complete with glaring defects and cost overruns) became the norm.

After a while, some smart folks figured out that this was kind of dumb. Software development, they said, was best described as an “empirical process.” And that “empirical process control” was a better method for managing software projects.

Around 2001, many of the smart folks met and wrote down 4 core values and 12 supporting principles.

The “Agile Manifesto” was born, and with it, a movement.

The movement was lively and brisk. The results generated by those who used Agile methods was impressive.

The Agile methods created great outcomes, real human engagement and even happiness in the workplace. People started buzzing about Agile software development.

Before long an “Agile community” sprouted. Training became widely available, and suddenly “certifications” appeared. Consultants started specializing in “Agile coaching.”


Slowly but surely, an industry took shape. The Agile industry.

The major players in the emerging Agile industry included the institutions, the Agile consulting firms, the tooling vendors, and all of the practitioners.

And a special subset of the practitioners, the “Agile leaders” or “Agile thought leaders.”

“Agile conferences” became commonplace.

The Agile industry was led by the “Agile leaders” of various kinds, most of whom dispensed their wisdom and wit from the many and various Agile conference podiums.

Before long, millions of people throughout the world were affected in some way by “Agile software development” as delivered by the growing Agile industry.

The original founding document, the Agile Manifesto, contained very excellent guidance.

Part of the Agile Manifesto guidance encouraged “self organizing teams.”

Another part encouraged building projects around “motivated individuals.”

This great guidance was often difficult for executives to understand, let alone implement.

They wanted “faster-better-cheaper,” and “more predictable,” and did not understand the very strong link between team decision-making and some potentially very huge gains in productivity.

Before long, the excellent guidance of the Agile Manifesto began to interfere with the business of the Agile industry.

After a while, the excellent guidance the Agile Manifesto provided was often skipped over quickly, and in many cases, it was even completely ignored.

As the Agile practices were decoupled from the 12 principles, it became normal to simply “roll out” an “Agile transformation” by prescribing “Agile processes and practices,” and then, making teams follow those processes and practices.

Or else.

The imposition of Agile practices on teams became standard operating procedure. It became normal. It became tolerated. It became widely accepted and OK.

This tended to reduce the number of “motivated individuals” and “self organizing teams.”

And then…without warning… seemingly without intent… the Agile Industrial Complex was born.



The Agile learning & innovation community slowly morphed and changed… into the “Agile Industrial Complex.” The Agile Industrial Complex perpetuates a weaponized form of Agile. The Agile Industrial Complex weaponizes Agile by optimizing on “transactions over transformations.”

That is, while there is value in the transformations, the real money is in the transactions.

A Protective Warning

One original Agile Manifesto signatory put it best with a protective warning. Circa 2006 …

As a methodology or design approach becomes fashionable, then we see a lot people using it, or teaching it, who are focusing on the fashion rather than the real details. This can lead to reports of things done in agile’s name which are a polar opposite to the principles of movement’s founders.  Drifting around the web I’ve heard a few comments about agile methods being imposed on a development team by upper management. Imposing a process on a team is completely opposed to the principles of agile software, and has been since its inception.

… imposing agile methods introduces a conflict with the values and principles that underlie agile methods.”

…I’d rather have a team work in a non-agile manner they chose themselves than have my favorite agile practices imposed upon them.”

Martin Fowler, original Agile Manifesto signatory. From the blog post, “The Agile Imposition” circa 2006. (link)

The Agile Institutions

The institutions perpetuate the Agile Industrial Complex.

They grow revenues by the millions, in part by sidestepping the awkward truth: Agile is routinely forced on teams, throughout the world, in conflict with the most fundamental of Lean/Agile principles, namely: Respect for People.

The institutions say nothing in protest about this.

The Agile Leaders

Agile “thought leaders” perpetuate the Agile Industrial Complex.

Those who occupy this role routinely extol the virtue of team autonomy and “pull” even as they say nothing at all about about the force, the coercion and the “push” that is at root of almost every problem in almost every so-called “transformation” today.

Those who aspire to thought leadership learn to say all the right things, and keep their mouths shut regarding the inconvenient truth about the largest influence on Agile culture today: the Agile Industrial Complex.

The Agile Enablement/Consulting Firms

The Agile consulting firms perpetuate the Agile Industrial Complex.

These organizations represent the standing army.

These service firms know that force, coercion and “push” is what well-meaning execs assume will actually work, and what actually sells.

Put another way: these service firms know that awkward conversations about respect, self-management and self-organization do not really sell very well. And so it’s always best to avoid these conversations.

As rational business-creatures, these “Agile enablement firms” instead tell executives exactly what they want to hear, in service to selling as many Agile services as they possibly can, as quickly as they can. Genuinely educating executives in advance about Lean/Agile principles like “respect for people” or “self organizing teams” works against those goals, or even worse, derails the whole sale.

A sale which is often in the many millions of dollars…


The Agile community is now the Agile Industrial Complex.  It is that web of Agile institutions, Agile thought leaders and Agile consulting firms that implicitly collude to make normal the very harmful and disrespectful imposition of Agile practices on teams without consent.

The Agile space is now a “no-innovation zone.” It tolerates and in fact perpetuates a highly weaponized version of Agile. Coercion, command-and-control, force, and the routine mandating of specific practices are how this game is played. The Agile Industrial Complex perpetuates and then monetizes a culture of coercion and force.

The result is a worldwide pandemic of highly prescriptive, enterprise-wide Agile “trance formations.


My Tweets on this starting on or about December 08, 2016, began to take on a more assertive tone regarding the dynamics, culture and norms of The Agile Industrial Complex.

On Twitter, I make two specific and related assertions, each of which easily is falsified by contrary evidence.

But first, the definitions:

Agile leaders: Those who are invited to speak at Agile conference keynotes, sessions and workshops, those who author books on Agile, those who arrange conferences and invite keynote and session speakers, those who lead “Agile enablement firms”, and those who are generally more prominent than the average member in the Agile community. Mostly, Agile leaders are the more prominent individuals at Agile conferences, showing up as leaders of keynotes, sessions and workshops.

Agile industry: The Agile institutions, the Agile enablement firms, all of the Agile service professionals, and all of the client organizations that are served by them. Also, the Agile leaders.

And now for the assertions:

Assertion #1

A nearly 100% tolerance of the coercive imposing of Agile practices on teams is a cultural norm of the Agile industry.

Assertion #2

Agile leaders as defined above have almost nothing to say about the dangers of this widespread tolerance of imposition. Specifically, they almost never issue protective warnings or protests about imposition from the Agile conference podium, as leaders of keynotes, sessions, and workshops; and/or inside public blog posts and essays.

Participants in the conversation are invited to refute these assertions by “falsifying” them. To falsify an assertion, simply produce evidence that is contrary to it, and thereby prove it false.

My basic hypothesis is that producing contrary evidence to the assertions above is currently rather difficult indeed.

The Agile industry can make a big, serious, POSITIVE impact in the world, but not until this near-100% tolerance of imposition is reversed.

Who Is Successfully Falsifying These Assertions Today?

The assertions are easy to falsify. Just produce evidence of Agile leaders actually issuing protective warning or protests about the pandemic of imposing Agile practices on teams, ideally during public conference keynotes.

Or, show clear and verifiable evidence of Agile-industry intolerance for the coercive imposing of Agile practices.

Here are some emerging examples of Agile leaders actually issuing protective warnings and protests about the problem:



There is a changing of the guard that  is now WELL UNDERWAY.

Are you in?


Here’s the outliers. These are the men and women who are protesting and warning about the harm and hypocrisy of imposing (“pushing”) Agile practices on teams. The courageous and real Agile leaders who are prompting a rather awkward conversation in the Agile Industry.

I assert that those Agile leaders who are absent from this list are in fact perpetuating THE AGILE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.

The people listed below are signaling through their speaking, writing and actions that they are the real-deal. The genuine article. Thought leaders.

In the wider scheme of things, it’s a very short list. What’s super-notable about this is who is missing…  it’s MOST of the people who are supposedly “leading agile thought” in the Agile industry!!

Question: Where are these people when we need them?

These folks, listed below, are the real deal. NOTE: if you are a conference organizer that brings Real Agile Thought Leaders to your session and keynoted podiums, then you are in fact a Real Agile Thought Leader.

WAIT. DO YOU ORGANIZE CONFERENCES? If so, THESE PEOPLE are the ones you want for your keynotes, sessions, and workshops at your conference.

These are the people who are delivering, edgy, risky, awkward and authentic thought leadership in the Agile industry today.

Contact them if you want something GREAT for your conference!



In the summer of 2019, Leise Passer Jensen wrote:

“Do you want others to decide whether you work agile or not? Can they make you ‘think agile’ against your will? …Unfortunately imposing (forcing) agile on teams has grown in parallel with scaling…Have we unconsciously sold the ‘soul’ of agile by silently accepting ‘agile’ to become an industry in itself where imposition has become the norm? …So, there is an alternative to imposition: The invitation….
“Let’s start *not* doing impositions today.
“Especially in the agile industry where things are starting to get out of hand in my opinion.
“I hereby invite you to please help with not imposing agile. It has to be opt-in, by accepting invitations.”

The whole essay is here: Can We Please Stop Imposing Agile? 


On or around June 07, 2019, professional agilist DENIS MIGOT wrote, in his essay, Agile Transformation, the following:

Imposing processes, thinking that agilility can be installed, NOT involving the employees in choosing their tools or practices, imposing change are also terrible mistakes. It simply doesn’t work. Even worse, it’s a total misunderstanding of what true agility stands for. Agile is all about humans and engagement. Not about subjugating.

The whole essay is here. And it is a good one:

Agile Transformation by Denis Migot.

NOTE: You can find and make contact with Denis Migot on Twitter and LinkedIn


Agile entrepreneur Simon Powers published on June 22 2018 and subsequently refined this essay, WEAPONIZED AGILE.

These are all direct quotes from Simon’s great essay:

“I invite conference leaders, sponsored communities, other media to stop giving a voice to individuals, consultancies, and thought-leaders who continue to propose installation of frameworks that do not allow or promote self-organisation and powerful people.”


I issue this post as a warning to organisations looking to improve the way they are working:

  • Agile is not about the process you choose. The process arises from a shift in the way employees think about their work and each other.
  • Agile cannot be installed. It arises from a shift in the way employees think about their work and each other.
  • Agile is not top down, bottom up, sideways, middle management or anything else led. It is a shift in the way employees think about their work and each other.

Through the need to placate clients, maintain the status quo, and to pay mortgages, Agile coaches, conference leaders, and consultancies, continue to install agile frameworks over the top of existing cultures, and to push agile and the processes around it, to people who don’t want it, don’t understand it, and maybe even don’t need it.

This is happening because organisations don’t know any better, and those who are able to exploit this lack of knowledge do so because they make a lot of money out of it.

The result is:

  • a lack of workforce engagement,
  • no shift in mindset,
  • and no better business results.

It takes around 14 months for the average Agile transformation to fail, and then the consultants blame the client for ‘not getting it’.




Ex-Marine turned Agile Coach Tanner Wortham wrote, on November 3 2018:

Invitation over imposition.   This is at the heart of agility.  Scratch that.  It’s at the heart of being a sincere and empathetic human who believes in others and wants to make a difference.

Unfortunately, I’m sure many of us have seen Scrum imposed on teams.  They’re told to begin using sprints.  They’re required to conduct sprint planning, sprint reviews, and so on.  Some lip service might be paid to why, but when the team doesn’t buy into it, someone’s will is imposed on them.  Is this really an effective way of affecting change?

Some might argue that change is hard.  That if we impose these changes for long enough, teams to begin to realize the value and accept it.  I’m not buying it.  …How do we invite change instead of imposing it?  I’ll give you a four-step recipe I’ve used successfully for years to affect change at both the individual and team levels.  It goes something like this….”

The rest of Tanner’s essay is absolutely great. You can read the full thing RIGHT HERE. (link)


Self-described thoughtful citizen Tobias Meyer expressed, via LinkedIn essay, on January 7 2019:

“…And yet not only has little been transformed, I would suggest the corporate world is more embedded in its command/comply paradigm than ever before. Only now it’s hidden behind a facade of “Agile”. And that’s my fault.

“…Agile as an ideology has become so tainted, so poisoned by consulting companies, tool vendors, and indeed by people like me that is now not only useless, but worse. It is actually damaging. If you work somewhere and your CEO announces the company is about to become Agile, be afraid, be very afraid. You are about to be subjected to all kinds of nonsense in the name of Scrum or Agile, or even “Agile Scrum” which is not actually a thing.”

And then, the punch line:

“I’ve come to believe that corporate transformation will never be meaningful or lasting when imposed from the top. When transformation arrives, as it commonly does, on gold-embossed, horse-drawn chariots to the triumphant cries of sycophants and a fanfare of trumpets, it can only herald further oppression.”

Interestingly, Tobias takes on full responsibility for his participation in this overall travesty. As do I.

At issue is what, if anything, we are actually willing to do about it. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. Essays like this are a start.

The full essay on LinkedIn is right here:
Title: Rethinking Transformation (link)


On October 29 2018 Sam Synder responded to the #InviteOrImpose invitation. That invitation, from me, invites anyone, anywhere, who cares enough to do so, to simply state where they stand on the issue of imposing practices on teams. Up, or down. For, or against. You can see the whole idea and the whole invitation right here: (#InviteOrImpose)

Sam described the experience of being subject to imposed practices after greatly enjoying Scrum previously at opt-in, team-level scope. Here’s a sample:

I am not in favor of Agile being imposed on people…I work for a large company that is in the initial stages of an “Agile transformation.” The initiative for this has come from the top of IT.

“…there’s been no point at which we’ve been approached by someone saying, “This is what Agile is. This is how it works. This is a great way to deliver the right value to our business partners. This is what self-organizing teams are like and how they empower individuals. What do you think? Does this sound like it will work for your team? How would you feel about this?” We’ve just been informed that we have to be Agile now.

“I think the idea of IT being Agile is GREAT! I am all for it. I love it …But there are ways in which the imposition of Agile isn’t sitting well with people. It is that of which I am critical…folks don’t know why they are working the way they are working. They have lots of problems because they don’t understand how things should work and the principles behind them. They feel pressure to complete work in two week increments. They feel disrespected…”

Full essay: Sam Snyder Jr, The Agile Imposiiton (link)


On October 3 2018, Martin Burns definitely answered the call. During his speaking slot at the influential  LEAN AGILE SCOTLAND 2018 conference event,  his session, entitled TRANSFORMATION BY INVITATION, plainly explained the folly and harm of imposition. It also clearly explained, in the most direct way, how INVITATION leads to better outcomes during organizational change than imposing practices ever did. He quoted data and guidance from noted authorities such as L. David Marquet, author TURN THE SHIP AROUND and Edgar Schein, arguably one of the greatest organizational behavior researchers of all time!

(NOTE: Martin Burns, sadly, passed away in June of 2019. His is missed by those who knew him, and he is loved. He leaves behind  these friends, his family, and his body  of work and writings. Here is a link to some reflections on Martin Burns. He was a real leader, and is missed.)

Explore Martin’s thoughts, and leadership here:

The links to his slides and subsequent Tweets is here:

Sample Slides:


On September 28 2018, Jonathan Smart published the essay “Organizational Agility: Give People a VOICE” on Medium. You can see the whole thing here. This man has direct experience functioning as an executive in a huge global organization: Barclay’s Bank. Does anyone want to question his authority to say these things?

“…for change to be successful and lasting, don’t Inflict Agile, instead give people a VOICE.”

“Unfortunately, it is common at the moment to see prescriptive processes being mandated across teams and across organizations. This should not be done. Inflicting capital ‘A’ Agile is not empowering, it does not show respect for people, it drives fear and resistance and it is not taking an agile approach to agility

“…many leaders in large, traditional firms have got to where they’ve got to with a reductionist, predictive, command & control mindset. This gives rise to the Agile Industrial Complex. An old ways of working view is being applied to new ways of working.”

“Agility by invitation, not Agile Imposition. Leaders go first, role modelling the desired behaviours, with a clear employee engagement model.”

Do not impose prescription…Adopt a pull, not push approach”

“To engage colleagues in change, there are engagement models…that are participatory, inclusive and appeals to intrinsic motivation.”

Next up:


On September 19 2018, Israel Lopez published the essay “Agile pushing: Why Organizations are taking the wrong way” on LinkedIn. You can see the whole thing here. Israel speaks Spanish and English is his second language and essay is in English. Even so, it is easy to catch the SPIRIT of what he is saying.

And here is the spirit (and the letter) of what Israel Lopez has to say:

“If Agile is about self-organized teams, does it make any sense to keep on pushing on them static models from above? The fact of naming your pushed model as an “Agile model”, even including sprints, scrum masters, product owners, backlogs, reviews, retrospectives and kanbans, does not turn your model into an Agile model. No matter whether it is a copy of the Spotify model or whether it is a brand new idea coming from a Big Four: if you keep on pushing Agile from above, you are not giving your teams the space for self-organization, inspection and adaption they need so they can choose the model that best fits to their needs. Lean teaches us about Gemba: the people doing the actual work know best about how to improve it. So, your bright, coloured and thoughtful Agile model is not Agile after all.

“If Agile is about continuous inspection and adaption, does it make any sense to design a predefined and complete static model for all the people to be compliant with? This sounds more to a new corporate policy rather than a transformation.”

Bravo to Israel Lopez. He’s a real leader of thought in the Agile space!



  • ISAAC GARCIA (link)
  • JEFF KOORS (link)
  • MARK CRUTH (link)
  • LORI TOWNSEND (link)
  • HEIDI ARAYA (link)

Coaching Agile Journeys (link) is a high-quality, free, recurring online conference that always features a great keynote speaker with something to say. The video of each episode is available later, for free, online. Their online conference series draws audiences as large as 200 or more. They are growing fast.

On August 27 2018 we delivered a session about how to actually begin an Agile transformation, by first **inviting** everyone affected into a discussion of the definitions of the key terms (Agile, Kanban, Scrum) and into a discussion of the all the key new RULES about who decides what. We introduced the key ideas:

  • Invitations, not impositions.
  • Socializing the new rules about who decides what, FIRST, when using Agile, Kanban and Scrum, including what REAL Agile means for all Teams, all Stakeholders and all Executives
  • Making space for surfacing and addressing all objections, by
    • discussing the new decision-making structures, and
    • limiting the commitment and “ask” to 90 days or less, and
    • using iterations at the enterprise level to inspect the results of the changes. Not a forced march until further notice!
  • Inviting objections and concerns, followed by time-boxed, enterprise-level EXPERIMENTAL iterations and scheduled, enterprise-wide inspection points
  • Acknowledging that employee engagement is essential to success, and self-management is what actually scales, not your framework.

The session “Was Your Organization READY for Agile?” described ACTIONABLE steps your org can take, to VERY QUICKLY…

  • elicit feedback,
  • invite participation,
  • reduce risk, and
  • encourage employee engagement in service to better results.

It might surprise you to know that these ideas are not strongly supported by  the largest Agile conferences. But they are strongly supported by the Coaching Agile Journeys conference organizers. These folks are very happy to provide a venue for socializing Open ideas, and to assist in building the wider Open movement.

Conference organizers who welcome Open ideas are manifesting real change by doing something about it: getting those ideas out there! We are grateful to all conference organizers, everywhere, that help out by exercising REAL AGILE LEADERSHIP in this way.

You can learn more via

Next up:


On August 28, Mike Burrows called out the recent protective warning issued by Martin Fowler at the AGILE AUSTRALIA conference on Aug 25 2018.

Here is the quote from Fowler that he called out on LinkedIn:

The Agile Industrial Complex imposing methods on people is an absolute travesty

Here is the LINK  to Mike’s LinkedIn profile,  and that LinkedIn post.

Mike Burrows also previously WARNED about the folly and harm of “push” in these essays:

Mike’s Burrows blog posts (link)

See also:

Mike’s Burrows Engagement Model, called AGENDASHIFT (link)

Mikes Burrows book on AGENDASHIFT (link)

Next up:


On August 25 2018, Manifesto signatory Martin Fowler keynoted the AGILE AUSTRALIA conference event. Instead of his usual topics, he issued a protest and a VERY CLEAR WARNING about the folly of imposing practices on teams, and the very real harm to the wider Agile movement (and especially the very real harm to people) that comes from that.

He makes it all very plain:

“So that’s the first problem: the Agile Industrial Complex and this imposition…. That’s something we must fight against.”

“Agile Software Development is now mainstream, but much of what’s down is faux (“fake”) Agile and we need to push back.”

“This is actually even worse than just pretending to do agile, it’s actively using the name “agile” against the basic principles of what we were trying to do, when we talked about doing this kind of work in the late 90s “

“The first [problem] is what I would call the Agile Industrial Complex. …a lot of what is being pushed is being pushed in a way that, as I said, really goes  against a lot of our precepts. “

Bravo to Martin Fowler. He’s the real deal !

Read the essay here: (link)

Watch the 20-minute video here: (link)

Next up:

JENNIFER BENAK (and the entire leadership team of AGILE INDIANAPOLIS)

On May 11, 2018, the Agile Indianapolis conference event took place. Almost 800 delegates attended this regional conference. Jennifer Benak and the other conference organizers made the AM keynote available to a speaker who spoke on the essential nature of employee engagement in successful enterprise-level Agile efforts. Under her leadership, this conference taught the Open approach, taught about Engagement Models,  and distributed almost 800 copies of the OpenSpace Agility Handbook.

Jennifer and the entire AGILE INDY leadership team went further. They intentionally invited several more Open-approach speakers such as Jon Jorgensen and Stacia Heimgartner Viscardi, who spoke on the essential nature of engagement, invitation, and working with willing teams… to reduce risk of fail, and increase the chances of genuine and lasting success with Agile at scale.

You can learn more about JENNIFER BENAK here (link)
You can learn more about AGILE INDIANAPOLIS here (link)
You can learn more about the AGILE INDY 2018 event here (link)

Next up:


On January 25, management consultant  Mark Levison writes:

“We’ve all experienced the pain of having someone impose a change on us – it doesn’t work…”

“Forcing change conflicts with the essential human need for autonomy – No one likes being told what to do (if they didn’t ask to be). Whichever model for understanding human behaviour you use[1][2][3], all of them recognize autonomy — to work in the way we see fit — as a central feature of human psychology. So when an organization imposes an approach to work, whether it be Scrum, Kanban, or another Agile framework, it is unsurprising that the result often is  team members feel discouraged and resist adopting the change…

“Agile can’t be imposed on people and still be effective.”

MARK LEVISON is the real deal.

You can learn more about MARK LEVISON and his services, here:


As of early November 2017, management consultant Jon Jorgensen is saying it quite plainly:

The most pressing challenge facing the agile industry today is: Coercion in the workplace masquerading as ‘Agile.’  I think the near 100% tolerance for imposed Agile is a big huge problem, and it is by far the biggest issue facing the Agile industry today.

“I’m writing this blog to issue a Protective Warning: You’re probably wasting a lot of money on agile coaching, training, facilitating and consulting. People attempt to do Agile transformations on their company quite often nowadays. Unfortunately, they fall victim to consultants who do not share their interests.  -Especially large, well-known consulting firms are the worst offenders.”

You can learn more about JON JORGENSEN and his services, here:


  • As of October 2017, the organizers of AGILE CINCINNATI including Darren Terrell and Diana Williams, invited me to keynote their event. Wow:
  • They purchased over 300 copies of the OPENSPACE AGILITY HANDBOOK and made sure everyone who attended the conference received a copy.
  • Darrel and Diana then went further and arranged OSA Workshops before and after the event in Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
  • And THEN they *also* put me in front of over 79 Agile enthusiasts at AGILE INDY, where I discussed the strength of invitation over imposition.

Darren and Diana are emblematic of what the new thought leadership actually looks like !!

You can learn more about Diana, and her coaching services, here:  (link)

You can learn more about Darren, and his coaching services, here: (link)


As of October 2017,  Nuno Rafael Gomes is saying things like this in public blog posts:

“…Agility is about invitation…Organizational agility should also begin with an invitation….a partner should never impose or push change: agile adopted in a non-agile way is not agile and will never be sustainable in the long run.

Nuno delivered Agile coaching services to clients across all of Europe.

You can learn more about Nuno here: (link)


As of September 2017, Kent McDonald is saying these things in his published essay, “The Agile Industrial Complex: Solution over context?

“…Don’t seek to adopt agile, or lean, or SAFe, and certainly don’t impose those practices on your teams.”

KENT tells it like it is. You can learn more about Kent and his coaching services, here: (link)


On 05/30-31/2017,  Jean Pierre Berchez and the organizers of the SCRUM DAY 2017 event in Stuttgart Germany invited me to the opening keynote to discuss the virtue and the highly efficient nature of human agency, inclusion, informed consent and opt-in participation in Agile adoptions. The conference keynote podium was opened wide to the presentation of these ideas, and as a result, over 400++ Agile professionals learned about the very strong links between opt-in engagement, self-management, and enterprise-wide KPI improvement. (with very special thanks to Alisa Stolze!!)

You can learn more about Alisa Stolze and her coaching services, here: (link) and here (link)

You can learn more about Peter Fischbach and his coaching services, here: (link)

You can learn more about Jean-Pierre Berchez and his coaching services, here: (link)


On 12/19/16, Agile leader Chris Matts posted the essay [Cultural Debt], where he says: “..Imposing Agile on teams and individuals is completely opposed to the principles and values of Agile…As soon as a manager forces a team to adopt Agile, they not only disempower the team, they also take away their responsibility for their own actions. The team may confirm and adopt the practices being imposed on them but they are less likely to engage and excel in them.” He also says: “…Forcing teams to adopt Agile may make it difficult or even impossible for the teams to accept responsibility for their own actions later. If your Agile Industrial Complex partner is suggesting you impose Agile, you should show them the door and find a new partner who’s goal is your success rather than an easy life.” (link)

You can learn more about Chris Matts and his ideas (and coaching services) here: (link)

The late MIKE BEEDLE: (rest in peace)

On 12/02/16 Agile leader Mike Beedle, an Agile Manifesto original signatory, posted to Twitter:  “Daniel, I’m not sure I should be happy or sad about this – forcing people to do things, it’s NOT a good idea …ever. (link)


On 07/26/16, Agile leader Yuval Yeret presented his Agile2016 session, How to Make SAFe Really Safe Scaling Agile Using Pull/Invite Instead of Push/Mandate. This session clearly warned against the anti-Agile practice of imposing Agile practices on teams. (link)

On 10/02/14 Agile leader Yuval Yeret was interviewed on INFOQ and said: (link)

“..we push/shove agile practices/structures/roles down people’s throats. All with good intention but without a “fair process” and collaborative decision making regarding what do to and at which pace. This robs people of their autonomy and reduces the chance of healthy engagement in helping the change succeed.” (link)

You can learn more about Yuval Yuret and coaching services here: (link)


On 02/10/14, Allen Holub wrote the article, “You Can’t Impose an Agile Process” in DR DOBBS JOURNAL. (link). He says in part:

“You can’t impose practices and expect any real success. Rather, you need to instill the principles, show people a bunch of existing practices that realize those principles, and then let the workers come up with a process that will work for them.

The core Agile principle at work is: individuals and interactions over processes and tools. The individuals need to develop their own processes and select their own tools to be effective.

You can learn more about Allen Holub and coaching services here: (link)


On 10/02/06, Martin Fowler, an original Agile Manifesto signatory, publishes the groundbreaking essay, “The Agile Imposition” and states “imposing a process on a team is completely opposed to the principles of agile software and has been since its inception.” (link)

You can learn more about MARTIN FOWLER and his books and ideas, here: (link)

NOTE: If and when you can find more, send an email to dan {at} newtechusa {dot} {net} and I’ll post it here. Please: make sure the citation meets the criteria 100%. The Agile leader must issue a protective warning, or an outright protest, in the public square, regarding the deplorable and widespread tolerance of “imposed Agile.” Or, they must actively create the conditions where this can happen, as conference promoters, user group leaders, and so on.

The Twitter Conversation

You can explore Tweets on the issue starting from about December 08 2016 under the Twitter handle

As of about December 12, 2016, the hashtag #AIC42 (for “Agile Industrial Complex 42”) is being used to group Tweets that are related to the subject of the Agile Industrial Complex.

You are invited to use this hashtag when you reply or Tweet about the Agile Industrial Complex on Twitter.

Daniel Mezick

Note: This is the best marshal on the planet.