Sunday, September 14, 2014

How ubiquitous and successful are your Agile Journey

Be agile, not just doing Agile!

Agile Methods have been around for over ten years and yet they still have not gained traction in certain organizations. Why do you think they have not? Is it just a matter of timing or do you think some characteristics associated with these project that would make using agile unsuitable.

Doing Agile, not being agile. The reason they are not successful is companies try to implement Agile as a process and not trying to bring in "agility" in the process that you work with. Agile is about values and principles, you don't need to call it Agile, Scrum or XP or anything branded as Agile, but bring in the sense of urgency in the organization to be agile. True agility is only achieved when the people on the floor buy-in and start "becoming agile" rather than making an effort to follow "Agile". 

Practice over principle. There is a Meta value for agility ===> Becoming agile over following Agile. To scale the concept to an enterprise ... You don't need to get bogged down by the word Agile with a capital A .. But utilize the values and principles to scale an enterprise process without labeling it Agile. The true sense is to be intuitive in the knowledge hierarchy of data, information, knowledge, wisdom, intuition and scale to the "intuition" that you would no longer require the buzzwords of Scrum. Agile with a capital A is the new Waterfall scam. Surely you need more than principles. You need a roadmap, tools and learning as well.

Failing to realize the benefits Agile has to offer. The growth of Agile in the public and private sectors has led to many cases of dysfunctional Agile – where organizations are mechanically going through the motions, but are failing to realize the benefits Agile has to offer. A couple issues:
- Sounds like the basic problem is cargo-cult actions, which is the same dysfunction for all transformation efforts, Agile or no.
- Many would take issue with the assertion that you must focus on a single or few teams first, then scale.
-Challenging the assumption that one must get teams to work first, before going to scale 

Agile in name only. An even more extreme case of dysfunctional agile development could be called “agile in name only”. They have NONE of the attributes from agile development: no prioritized backlog, no regular delivery of working code and they have months of QA needed to stabilize the solution after the code is completed. Everything about how they work screams “waterfall” but they are very vocal about describing themselves as agile. Unfortunately this misuse of the agile name ends up harming the true agile practitioners. So any scaling solution must be contextual, taking in the organizations specific political, cultural and project constraints.

Indeed, there’re many pitfalls on the Agile journey, the organizations have to take adventure, but well prepare themselves for overcoming the challenges, applying Agile principles to guide through, building quality roadmap to speed up,develop the practices, but not to be too rigid, and improve business agility.


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