I’ve noticed an increased interest for Agile learning from larger more established sources. This is good news for us and we are happy to train all who come our way. However, I am always curious to know the business drivers for this interest in Agile. Has disruption finally reached some of these traditional behemoths? Do they face new competition in a deregulated market? Have start-ups, with lean distribution models and leveraging technological or socio-cultural trends, begun to take a serious slice of the pie?  It’s not that management would ‘like’ to make their organisations more responsive to change and innovation, but that they have to.

Or, is this bottom-up on trend demand, isolated from any senior business driver? Individuals or departments, going solo for their immediate needs, in the face of organisational intransigence. Individual or small teams going it alone. Often, it is thought that Agile is an IT thing, siloed into the technical departments. We will sign off on training so IT can adopt Agile practices. Everything else stays the same.

My problem with this is that there is no real understanding of the greater meaning of organisational agility – the true holy grail of Agile. True Agile is as much a mindset change that affects the greater organisation, as it is a methodology for software delivery. Yes, a large part is focussed on creating an organisational capability to build meaningful software solutions, that are reactive to demand, based on methodologies like SCRUM and XP, but the real benefit comes from a shift to an organisational environment that is innovative, customer focussed and reactive to environmental forces. We are not sure what is coming around the corner, but we are sure we have a team that can act on its feet to analyse, react and effect the change so we can thrive.

My tuppence; Adopting Agile practices needs to be accompanied by a cultural transformation and mindset change. Agile isn’t something just for the IT department. The greater business entity, and in particular senior management, need to be on board as well. Adopting Agile practices without the cultural buy-in and transformation typically leads to failure.

Contact us for Agile training for everyone, particularly those not in the IT department! Public schedule and Private workshop training available.

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