Agile is here to stay, that is the reality. Many organisations desire Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters in their team … and they want them to use daily meetings, sprint retrospectives (sessions). Nowadays, the talk is not of requirements but of user stories instead. And if we can run an inception instead of a kick-off, so much the better.

Why? Let’s consider it from different perspectives.

Some companies do it because the competition does it. In fact, they are unclear as to why they should change to this philosophy, or whether they need to, but “if the competition is doing it then I must do it as well”. This is what as known as cargo cult.

What about you? Do you do Agile to imitate or because of necessity? #mmaa #agile #scrum Click To Tweet

Others undertake it out of necessity. The directors of a company suddenly realise they have come late to market. They continue to do everything as always, or perhaps even better, but whereas before they were competitive, now they are not. If they don’t act soon to change this situation, within a short time they will be left out in the cold.

Where does change start?

Over the course of recent years, I have tried to help many projects and organisations I’ve worked answer this. One of my conclusions is that change cannot be started in one context in the same way it may have worked in another. Because there where to initiate the change depends on many factors and especially on the area in which you wish to start introducing change.

“Classic” adoption of Scrum as a working framework in order to transition from Waterfall to Agile

It takes a lot longer with Waterfall to know the effect of what I am developing on the market and it is possible that by the time you check it is already too late. With Agile, I am constantly asking the market what is happening with my product in terms of impact, revenue, new users, etc.

Practical usage to achieve a fast frequency

Practical usage is not incompatible with a waterfall methodology but it is practically necessary with Agile. Without the use of practices like TDD, continuous integration or Pair Programming, for example, it would be impossible to achieve the necessary quality and speed to gain an increase in value in the market.

Culture

This is perhaps the most complicated aspect to achieve. Frequently, organisations have their development teams working in Scrum and with practices totally focussed on Agile, but the organisation per se is not Agile. Put another way, we are Agile on a local level but not on a global level. This has a lot to do with company processes, which are the same as always. For example, I am working in a team of 10 people with great results, but the person who decides the value (and my salary) is a person who is external to the team and whom I see twice a year. Another very common example occurs when you have to request access to a resource and you have to send the email to five partners and all your supervisors and managers in copy.

A low but compulsory change

It is clear that introducing any type of change in a large organisation requires time. You cannot eliminate the use of words like “boss” or “resource” and change them overnight to “leader” and “person”, not least because in large organisations there are numerous situations and it is possible that people within the organisation are aware of the need for change but have conflicting interests. For example there may be people within an organisation who see this change as a threat and who try to stop it as far as they are able.

Cultural transformation takes time but is a necessary step for organisations #agile #mmaa Click To Tweet

We are seeing great changes in organisations or in other words, we are making the transformation in order to keep up with the speed required by the industry. Time will tell whether the change occurring now is fast enough to be able to reach the other side or not. What is clear is that change in organisations is necessary and that if you do not try, sooner or later the time will come when it is too late to change in order to survive.

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Author

  • Agile Coach en Keepler. "I am a proactive person who loves teamwork and motivating people. I consider that communication is the key to the achievement of a successful project."