The Two Faces of Agile

July 24, 2020
3 minute read

Companies are looking for us to become more and more agile. They are large and mature organizations have the desire to evolve and make their processes faster and more responsive. In the world where Google has all the answers, when you seek for ‘How to increase agility of your company’ you mainly going to see two possibilities on your results. On one hand, you’re going to see how to implements tools and techniques to increase agility and other, less frequent but extremely important, is how to focus on agile as a culture.

1 – Agile as a tool

Organizations that use agile as a tool often have their processes formed and established. It doesn’t mean that they have excellent processes in place, but the processes exist and people follow them. In this scenario, the use of independent techniques such as SCRUM, Kanban, XP generates some specific result. Increasing work visibility using boards, speeding up the process with ceremonies, use of charts focused on user stories, frameworks to manage activities or programming techniques is often the gate to something much bigger.
If you have this state today and want to go further, try to have the support of someone who knows and has lived through these processes. The experience of an Agile Coach for helping your company see opportunities to invest in improvements to its processes, products, services and employees.

2 – Agile as a culture

In this type of organization, the important aspect of this is the mindset. It is the invisible that is not seen but it’s part of people’s daily lives. It is easy to read but requires the discipline of running it every day. For some, focusing on the interaction of individuals rather than methods and tools may be natural, but for others, songoing support is needed to see this invisible part. Focusing on the collaborative process rather than contractual negotiation is a challenge as well. In these organizations, evolution is not direct, but it is consistent. It requires discipline and focus, but in the end, the result is transformational.
The advantage is that you do not have to choose either one or the other to get started. You can choose the two and have the great benefits of everything.

Strategies to start

One of the strategies is to do mass training for all people. In this case, experts share the new way of thinking to participants. The best events are those that connect the examples to the realization and show that thinking differently, in fact already part of the day today.
Another way is to choose themes and projects to work with. The development of a product or service, the resolution of a problem, the whole GAP can become an opportunity for implementation. The advantage of this is that the desire for change exists and during the process, participants will develop different ways of working to achieve the desired future state.

In order to start it’s important to have a clear objective in mind, otherwise, any strategy can be useless or a waste of time.
Any and all Agile changes need to have a clear context and focus so that the techniques can be mean and not end.

The best approach is one that can leverage the current status quo and enable the organization to adopt new practices through existing resources and knowledge.
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Berteig Consulting

Empower Your Entire Organization with BERTEIG Consulting in Agile, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe and LEAN.

Bruce Power
Capital One
Equitable Life of Canada
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