I feel like I may get some pushback for what follows but here it goes….
(You can apply the following to Lean, Kanban, Theory Of Constraints etc etc).
You don’t have embrace the Agile approach to software development. I’m yet to find a mandate that suggests so. Please share with me if you have one. You don’t have to agree with the Agile Manifesto as well. If any of these things has been forced upon you and you disagree with them, make a change. You deserve it. It’s your life after all and life is just to short to be stuck doing what you don’t want to do. Take care of it.
But if you decide to do the Agile thing, please spare me (yes me) from trying to rewrite the manifesto to suit your own agenda. Let’s stop giving people a pass on calling anything they are doing Agile. I’m talking about big A Agile here. The one guided by the Agile Manifesto. I’m not suggesting we be judgmental and all high and mighty about this but we need to be truthful to ourselves. It’s ok to be on your way to embracing the values and living the principles as it’s a journey but be explicit about that fact and stop trying to redefine Agile to suit your situation and instead focus on moving your situation along. Trying to fit Agile to your situation is sort of like saying you are a vegan but you only eat meat on Sunday. Really? That just doesn’t work and you can do better than that. Either you are a vegan, working on becoming a vegan or have no intention of being vegan. All three things are fine, but let’s not be deceptive about it.
It is a curious thing that the authors did not specify a bunch of practices that must be followed. I imagine they wouldn’t have reached consensus because practices can be a tricky thing. That’s ok, a number of methods/frameworks/practices that existed before and after the Agile Manifesto are available to choose from. You can evaluate how well these practices tie back to the values and principles outlined by the Agile Manifesto and how well they will work in your organization. The body of practices continues to grow as we identify additional ways to effectively deliver software.
Agile is not an exclusive choice. You can do other things in addition to it if you please. You can evolve beyond Agile to something else if that’s what you think you are doing. You have many options here. Just be clear about what it is you are doing.
Is Agile THE goal? No. It is one of several ways to the goal. If you choose it, then do it. Don’t redefine it.