Many consultants repeat the refrain that Agile is hard because change is hard, people resist Agile, and systems are complex. These are over-simplifications of what’s really going on.
While changing our personality is hard, changing the way we work is only hard when we don’t see what’s in it for us. Preconceived solutions imposed on us often appear as extra work and we resist it. When a solution is based on solving our challenges we are likely to embrace it.
Understanding Flow and Lean enables making reasonably good predictions on whether something will be an improvement. But the way people work together is complex, meaning there are unknown relationships and personal behaviors. These often block our intentions but expose themselves when they do. We can incorporate these insights into future improvements making them more likely to succeed.
I do believe the most coaches are well intended. But the above reasons given for dark Agile are self-serving and hide major flaws in Agile adoption – focusing on the wrong thing and teaching in the wrong way.
People can understand Flow and Lean principles when they are related to their past experience. The focus needs to be directly on our challenges and how to overcome them. Not a framework that on average may be an improvement.
I will quickly follow up this post with what we need to focus on.