In one of the conversations I had at the XP2008, I remember talking around the social effects of introducing agile. We shared a number of stories and some things that we’d either seen personally or heard from someone else. One of the patterns we observed we decided to call the Agile Ejection Effect.


Photo from Bayat’s Flickrstream under the Creative Commons Licence.

The change that results in a certain number of people leaving a company through the introduction of agile methods. This change is typically triggered by two different causes, one where people leave because the system changes, and the other where people leave because the system does not change.

Those individuals that leave because the system changes towards agility find that their conventional ways of working and reporting have less impact, or are no longer appreciated. They may no longer understand how their role fits into this new system, and feel more comfortable leaving to find the older and more rigid environments they are more comfortable with.

Those individuals that leave because the system does not change probably had some success with one particular project, only to find frustration and resistance in the next project by not being able to work in the same manner. Larger issues such as governance and broader organisational concerns create resistance to working in these new methods and the individual decides that leaving to find an environment and culture is a better way to spend their energy.