Gartner Research

Maverick* Research: Stop Swinging the Agile Hammer at Things That Aren’t Nails

Published: 12 March 2020

ID: G00467289

Analyst(s): Joe Maguire


Agility improves software. But not all IT deliverables are software. Data and analytics technical professionals must apply agility selectively. This document shows how to adapt agility to non-software endeavors like data management. (Maverick research exposes unconventional thinking and advice.)

Table Of Contents
  • Specific Maverick Caution
  • Maverick Findings
  • Maverick Recommendations

*Maverick Research


  • Searching for Evidence of the Problem: An Easy Task
  • Everything Is Not Software Development, and Vice Versa
  • Data Management Is Not Software Development, and Vice Versa
  • Case Study: Data Management and Agility
    • Say “No” to Agility
    • Say “Yes” to Agility
    • Technician, Heal Thyself
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Articulate First Principles for Your Profession
  • Interpret the First Principles of Your Profession
    • Data Is a Cultural Phenomenon
    • Data Has Patterns
    • Data Exists Independent of the Processes That Manipulate It
    • Data Has a Life Cycle
    • Humans Form Taxonomies From the Middle Layers Outward
    • Humans Are Comfortable With Various Metamodels
    • Data Management Professionals Deliver Data
    • Human Rules About Data Fall Along a Spectrum
  • Interpret the Agile Manifesto and Agile Principles
    • Value: Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools
    • Value: Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation
    • Value: Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation
    • Value: Responding to Change Over Following a Plan
    • Principle: Highest Priority Is Software
    • Principle: Welcome Changing Requirements
    • Principle: Deliver Working Software Frequently
    • Principle: Business People and Developers Must Work Together
    • Principle: Build Projects Around Motivated Individuals
    • Principle: Use Face-to-Face Conversation
    • Principle: Working Software Is the Primary Measure of Success
    • Principle: Agile Processes Promote Sustainable Development
    • Principle: Continuous Attention to Technical Excellence
    • Principle: Simplicity Is Essential
    • Principle: Use Self-Organizing Teams
    • Principle: At Regular Intervals, the Team Reflects, Then Improves
  • Update Your Practices

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