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.

What was needed was systems thinking and Lean. But this idea was virulently rejected by Scrum thought leaders. The idea that “Scrum was simple, use it as is” came to the forefront. Instead of helping teams in situations they were unprepared to handle they were labeled “Scrum-buts.”

Management bought that – “it would work if people would only follow it” -scarily reminiscent of explaining why waterfall didn’t work. Scrum was also conflated with Agile and the idea that Agile could be mandated was born.

At this stage, of course, it wasn’t Agile anymore. Agile as a vision was still viable. But Agile as a means was not.


if you find this blog interesting you might want to check out my upcoming (May 3) webinar on FLEX – not another framework but a thought process you can use to solve your problems.   see https://www.netobjectives.com/events  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.