Agile: Square Peg in a Round Hole?

If you and your organization are trying to adopt agile processes without first adopting and agile mindset and culture, stop and reassess!

Think for a second about some of the basics of agile:

  • Empowerment of small teams
  • Deliver early and often
  • Push decision-making downward
  • Deliver stakeholder value - as determined by the stakeholder
  • Employ collaborative decision-making

When agility is a mindset and is embedded in the culture, individuals naturally are motivated.  People feel that they can make a difference and feel free to speak up.  Meetings are shorter but more often, get to the point, and encourage everyone to speak their minds.  Work usually originates from the bottom, and ideas from the bottom are rewarded - and not vetoed as a normal course of events from the top!

If you sense some areas where agile is not part of the fabric of your organization, stop and take stock!  Speak up. Determine what needs to be done, and assess whether it can realistically be accomplished.  If you don't, implementing agile will be like trying to force a square peg down a round hole.