Agile: It’s about a matter of choice

I vividly remember that December of 2003.

Sitting down with team from my employers and IJI (Ivar Jacobson International), we were discussing on how we could create a tool, which would help Agile and Scrum practitioners, find out their way around being more Agile, as everyone than was confused: how to start using Agile?

and the world has come a long way from that.

From a handful of companies trying to use Scrum and XP, to now everyone ‘talking’ Agile, the world has indeed come a long way

and yes, I am getting old. My CSM license number was 019375 and the latest of my co-learners had theirs in 8xxxxxx series.

But why I am walking down the memory lane on a fine weekday morning…Because something has still not changed !!

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What we started to change in 2001, does not seem to be changing or rather its slow as much as it can be.’The Elephant’ doesn’t seem to be dancing or moving rather it is being dragged on its sides.

Enterprises, Corporations, Individuals in their quest to showcase themselves as ‘AGILE’ have spent millions of dollars on training, coaching, subscriptions, conferences and more but has the ROI been generated. Probably NOT!

————————————————————————————————————————–

So, what’s missing you ask. The answers are many, but here I present a few that I feel immediately need attention in our industry:

Is ‘Agile’ a process?

The Agile Industrial Complex has been working overtime to ensure the “Agile Philosophy” is implemented not imbibed and absorbed as a culture.

And the result:

Checklist Agility:

  • Daily Stand-up done: You are Agile
  • You are running two week sprints: You are AGile
  • You have a ScrumMaster Role: You are AGIle
  • You are using Story Points and User Stories: You are AGILe
  • You are using the world famous tools: You are definitely AGILE

If that sounds familiar, you are simply updating from one process: Waterfall to Scrum or SAFe or Kanban or something similar but the culture remains the same. So what are you really changing than!

Here is what I ask the leaders, managers, fellow coaches and trainers:

  • Did you give your teams a choice to decide which process/framework they can use?
  • Were they involved in decision making process about deadlines, timelines, scope etc.?
  • Did your senior most guy took over the ScrumMasters’ role or did you choose the right fit?
  • Is your team aware, that there are ways beyond Scrum that team can explore as their way of working?

If not, what kind of Agility you are adopting ?

Is certification enough?

Individuals and organizations have set out on a mission to gain as many certifications as possible for themselves and their staff members.

> I still feel amused to remember seeing the business card of a fellow colleagues couple of years back who had 23 certifications to his name ! :o.

> I see co-learners walking into a class like a zombie, be there for 2 days to get the coveted stamp on their CV.

 > I see fellow trainers, teaching classes to fulfill only the learning objectives of the class and exam.

but is that enough ?

If you are wondering being a CST myself and having authored two Agile frameworks over last few years, why I am ranting about the certification and certifying bodies..

The RANT is not about certifications and certifying bodies. They were all created with good intentions at some point of time.

Your certification is a powerful tool:

You can just use it, to put it on your CV, Blog, company profile, brag about the number of certifications you have got or number of Certifiedxxxx your company has got and get a new job or a new client

OR

You can use the workshop that you attend to find out those 2 things that you want to change, in you, around you and in the world around you.

OR

your can keep RANTING , my leadership and my customers do not understand Agility, what a poor me can do!

I call it ‘The Wall’ Agility.

Trying to prove what others are doing is wrong and what you think , believe and practice is the right form of Agility is nothing but a mentality that does not help anyone but simply troubles people around you and you still do not fulfill your objectives on why you decided to adopt agility in the first place!

So, Is there a Hope or its Doomsday for Agile already?

Agile naysayers and quite a few number of my fellow coaches have been shouting from the top of their voices:

——————————————-

Agile is Dead! Scrum is useless!

The Agile bubble is about to burst!

We need the next big thing. Let’s move from ‘Old’ Agile and Scrum etc to something new, different exciting ( lik DevOps may be)

———————————–

BUT, are we again saying just another process! Just another toolset! just packed in a different envelope!

What happened to the first tenant of the Agile Manifesto: “Individuals and Interactions matter more over Process and Tools’ ?

In the race to ‘Be Agile’ , did we forget the ‘People’ somewhere…?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It’s about time we give Agility back to people. Give them the power of choice!

Let them choose which process/framework and certification suits them

Let them give you a deadline and scope rather than you giving them a deadlines/scope and telling them to use something called ‘AGILE’

but are YOU ready to LET GO??

 

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1 thought on “Agile: It’s about a matter of choice Leave a comment

  1. Nice Article sir. I have the opinion that true agility or freedom to team would be possible in Product based Organizations but a distant dream in so many service based organization due to some reasons or others. In today’s cut throat competition, I have seen big companies negotiating the software projects at huge discounts. In my project management experience, I have seen situations where project is forced to be delivered in almost 70% less time as team required. No doubt, it lead to No Agility, Poor Quality and overstressed and overloaded resources. I saw the below line in one of the “Project Manager” position in linkedIn Jobs which gives us a flavor of what maters most in most of the service based companies

    Meeting the SLA by any means possible.

    Like

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