Agile fantasies and harsh business realities
Currently, digital transformation programs are inevitably associated with Agile. Businesses want to become Agile because they want to increase speed, efficiency, effectiveness, etc., and Agile promises to achieve all of that. However, what is generally happening in this space is a rapid adoption of a set of agile ceremonies and tools (e.g. crowd standing in an open corner, kanban boards with yellow stickers, the ubiquitous Jira, etc.).
Analysis of the organization, not to mention balancing it. In this sense Agile is very similar to religion. Typically, most religions have an external part (i.e. a normative part: going to ceremonies on a certain day, not eating certain foods, kneeling at certain times during the celebration, etc.) and a substantive or moral part (e.g.Volume. behave in a certain way, etc.). The outer part is much easier to accept and “act” and is usually identified with the religion itself.
Even from the IT moat, it’s easy to see that most organizations fail to even get close to the core of Agile: they just do the choreography. The overall result is often many repetitive anti-patterns that are extremely repetitive across organizations and inevitably lead to even more inefficiency and waste. The purpose of this short article is to give you some reasons why this is happening and what precautions you should take.
For the most part, this article is not an attack on Agile, but merely aims to point out the many incorrect implementations of it, while truly adhering to one of Agile’s most important tenets, which is to beware anyone who claims that you must learn lessons from it and take corrective action in the future. Here is the relevant principle, verbatim: “The team regularly considers how it can become more efficient, refines it and adapts its behavior accordingly.”