Friday, November 22, 2013

The ‘Agile’ Culture

An Agile Culture is Collective Habit to Shape an Agile Organization

Agile is philosophy and principle, not just a software management methodology, it shapes one’s mindset to fit in hyper-connectivity, hyper-complexity and hyper-digitalization of new business reality today. Organizational culture is a collective mindset of business, how can Agile make an influence on organizational culture, if it does, what are characteristics in it?

Agile promotes the culture of open communication and iterative interaction. People are willing to let go of their ego and those with an open, positive attitude towards change tend to embrace it, while those who dislike change, don't communicate well, can't adapt well, are at the other end of the spectrum. Identify the positive early adopters and they'll help you convert the rest. As it can also be hard for an agile team to interface with other parts of the organization, as it is having differing expectations. But when open communication becomes a habit for the organization, part of the agile culture is shaped smoothly.

Agile promotes a culture of continuous improvement. Culture change is hard and it takes time. You can't expect immediate results. thus, it's a continuous journey. Learning and discovery are constantly happening in agile organizations. The agile values and principles are a foundation on which being built - the practices are much more fluid and will evolve over time. You start by improving where you can, enlist help, expand your influence, and repeat. 

Agile promotes the culture of self-discipline: Agile is not taking less discipline, but more-either engineering discipline or management discipline. The agile is not lack of a plan, but always planning with agility and flexibility. The digital transformation is shaping work from being a place you go during set hours each work day to something you do in a dynamic, increasingly virtual workplace. Self-organizing Agile teams do have a bounded authority to make their own accountability, organize and assign their own work. They craft appropriate strategies to accomplish their goals, and make decisions with bounded economic and organizational impact.

Agile promotes the culture of execution: Agile is an adjective meaning 'able to move quickly and easily', Applying agile principles to the process of agile adoption within an organization will definitely reap benefits. The more salient manifesto is being: “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.”. Provided adoption is also subject to the call to inspect and adapt, then barriers can be surmounted, minds changed, champions identified - and in time, successful delivery synonymous with software development. An agile culture makes execution process iterative with the leverage of change management.

Agile promotes the culture of adaptability: Agile inspires cross-disciplined thinking, iterative communication, and cross-functional collaboration, to allow decisions to be made at lower levels in the organization, and—to reduce the time between stimulus and response. Agile culture can cultivate such collective mindset which is able to correct itself through new traits, such as entrepreneurial attitude, the lens of diversity, and tolerance of ambiguity. Always see the work/project through the eyes of customers.

To sum it up, the adjective 'agile' is an orientation, an intention to be lightweight and low-structure without being ignorant or irresponsible. The culture of agile is the collective mindset with customer-focus, adaptation to the changes, progression, and flexibility.


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