05 Mar

Pinnacle times of Agile are behind us?

I recently read an article that proclaimed, pinnacle times of Agile are behind us, Agile is doomed etc., Interestingly, the article did not mention any thought process, concept or philosophy that will replace Agile.

In my opinion Agile is here to stay. No matter if you are an IT services organisation or not, Agile has the power to transform your business if implemented the right way. When the method is fully understood by everyone involved and when there is a strong backing from decision makers – Agile teams can indeed transform the work environment, make people’s jobs more rewarding, and supercharge your business transformation.

Agile being a philosophy and mindset still has lengths and  breadths of business spectrum to serve in my opinion. Recent Scrum Guide update is a clear indication that Agile ways of working is not proprietary to ICT alone.Scrum is more accessible and inclusive beyond software development.  Frameworks and tools to implement Agile ways of working may get evolved over time but not the philosophy itself. Seriously, Agile is about using one’s common sense. Isn’t it?

I had been in organizations that used Agile for less than a year and decided Agile is not the way to go, another organization underwent Agile transformation with all the pomp and splendour only to fail miserably. Agile won’t fail, rather it is the people who simply don’t understand Agile fail time and time again.

What Agile is NOT?

  • Agile is not a work that we do
  • Agile is not a reason to manage workforce
  • Agile is not a cure for all business challenges
  • Agile is not an excuse to NOT put in a process
  • Agile is not anti-planning
  • Agile is not only for software development

So, what is Agile then?

  • Agile is a mindset shift
  • Agile is a set of values and guiding principles
  • Agile is about team dynamics and work culture
  • Agile is providing right environment to individuals
  • Agile is time boxing the work
  • Agile is failing fast and learning faster
  • Agile is value delivered over a time box
  • Agile is to continuously learn and improve
  • Agile is self organizing and self reflecting

Agile transformation is bound to succeed if,

  • There is a clear understanding of what Agile is
  • Agile is tied to business goal
  • There is a clear understanding of as-is -> to-be
  • Full backing, support and promotion of decision makers
  • Pilot-learn-scale approach is workeable
  • Enough emphasis is given on learning and continuous improvement
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