Agile = Antifragile?

I am currently reading the book Antifragile: Things that Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I loved two of his other books, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable and Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets so I thought that I would give this one a go.

His central thesis is that there are systems that are not only robust, able to withstand randomness and chaos, but there are those that actually thrive on such events. He calls these “antifragile” as opposed to fragile systems.

Like all other things I read, I find myself measuring his ideas through an Agile lens. I still am wondering if Agile systems meet his definition of antifragile. At first blush there are some aspects that seem appropriate. For example, those companies who are unable to successfully implement Agile appear to have all the indicators of being fragile. Conversely, Agile systems seem to exhibit the traits he describes as antifragile. In fact, the principles behind the Agile Manifesto discuss “welcome changing requirements” and “harnessing change”.

As I continue to read this book I look forward to more examples and perhaps even some advice on how to create “antifragile” software and systems.

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