Manifesto! A poem by Richard Weissel

Agile Encore 2016 speaker – and poet – Richard Weissel has penned a poetic tribute to the Agile Manifesto. 

“Help!” They cried, “We’re drowning. We’re stuck in a waterfall!”

“Do not fear, I’ll save you”, came the saviour’s mighty call.

He donned his cape, he donned his pants, he grabbed his mighty cloak.

“You will not drown today my friends, for I have my post it notes.”


Relief, they felt, for now it seemed, that surely they’d be saved.

They knew that he’d saved thousands, as frantically they waved.

His legend came before him; tales from young and old,

of this coach named Silver Bullet, a wonder to behold.


He jumped upon his trusty steed, his companion of all these years,

“Sprint, it’s time again my friend, to set aside their fears.

We’re called upon to save the day. To this we’re duty bound.

Let’s take with us but one small thing; make sure it’s tightly bound”


Ah yes, the manifesto, there is but only one.

When armed with this, an Agile team, has no need for a gun.

For with the manifesto, as legends surely say,

When it appears, all waterfalls dry up and shrink away.


With head held high, with post it notes, and index cards galore,

They headed towards the danger, then heard its mighty roar.

For waterfall is strong it seems, like the dark side of the force,

but for every Lord Darth Vader, there’s a mighty Luke of course.


“Bullet! You must stop right now. You know it to be true.

We share a bond, you and I. Without me there’d be no you!

Join me my boy! Together we can be the only one,

The one true methodology. It’s true; you are my son.”


“You are not my father!” shouted Bullet as Sprint reared up.

But then they heard, a muffled sound…”will you please hurry up?!”

For the team was surely drowning, amidst a torrent of requirements docs.

If only they’d set out, with just a tiny set of mocks.


But then there was a lengthy pause, a silence in the storm,

For Sprint it seemed, the time had come, for his fortnightly form.

It was time for a small retro, despite how close they were,

For if they didn’t know what happened, future madness may occur.


They made a plan, wrote up some cards, and then they dragged one in,

Right to the heart of waterfall, right to the heart of sin.

An index card, from Sprint’s backlog, is poison to waterfall,

But whether it was truly dead, was much too soon to call.


He dragged them out, one by one, bedraggled yet full of awe,

At this man upon his mighty horse, who’d dragged them to the shore.

“Wow, you look much older, but really you’re quite young.”

“Ah yes, my friends, that’s true; the journey’s just begun!”


“Do not be fooled by Waterfall. It will hold you in its grip.

And in time my friends, like all of us, then you will surely trip.

The world is changing at breakneck speed; you’ll need a mighty horse.

But failing that, you can all feel safe, for we have the Agile Force”.


Richard Weissel will reprise his highly-rated Agile Australia 2016 presentation at Agile Encore 2016 on Thursday 10 November in Sydney. Details here.

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