Alex Leonov's Blog

Many terms lose their original meaning when their use spreads. Examples include ‘agile’, ‘failing fast’, ‘digital transformation’, and so on.

Initially, someone creates the concept and gives it a name. That name is not as important as the principles and the definition of the concept. Unfortunately, catchy names use common words, and common words can be interpreted differently by different people.

So, the usage of the concept spreads, and with it different interpretations multiply. At some point, these interpretations start to converge on the common meaning of the common words.

Problems start to occur when that common meaning diverges too far from the original concept. This is how you get ‘we are agile - we are doing Scrum’, ‘let’s try for a week and then scrap the project’, or ‘we are going digital - let us build a website’.