Step 2: Shift from Agile at the team to business agility

Agile is a great ideal. It feels good. It is a call to liberation. We should never lose this. But we must also remember Millard Fuller’s observation “It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than think your way into a new way of acting.”

This means working together will get you to trust and respect faster than saying to trust and respect each other will get you to working together. The latter is a nice thought but doesn’t work with divergent roles and values.

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Step 1: Acknowledge the need to move from a team focus to systems thinking

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” Einstein

The team focus of 2001 is no longer viable. Early adopters could adopt Scrum without regards to the bigger picture. The key was having a cross-functional team that Scrum and XP were designed for.

But as soon as Agile spread beyond one team, it ran into challenges. Team dynamics are different from organizational dynamics. Scrum ran into problems because forming cross-functional teams required committing someone who was needed on several teams to one team. Agilists didn’t have methods that solved this problem.

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How did Agile become so unagile

For a movement that’s about quick delivery, continuous learning, innovation & flexibility, Agile has lost its way.

Organizations with good minded people who see better ways to do things are faced with massive delays to get started because Agile has become a huge endeavor – an anti-thesis of Agile. Agile would say “start and learn.”

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