Over the past few years businesses have become heavily rely on technology. Almost all successful businesses rely on technology in some way. With the rapidly changing circumstances and technologies, agility has become the mainstream for the business success and the sustainability. Yet, majority of the projects fail to deliver the values that the customers expect regardless of whether they are doing agile or not.
Yes, you heard it right, Doing Agile! Doing Agile and Being Agile has a significant difference which is crucial to the business success. The concept of agility has been evolved since 2001 agile manifesto, which articulates a better way to develop software. Agility is not just for IT, not anymore; It’s for the whole organization!
‘Doing Agile’ means simply practicing all the agile artifacts, activities, roles, and rules for project delivery. ‘Being Agile’ is cultivating an agile mindset within the culture of an organization by believing and practicing the agile principles and values day in, day out. Understanding the difference between these two terms is absolutely critical for successful agile transformation.
Companies Doing Agile typically replace the project manager with the scrum master while replacing the project management tools with Jira, Version One, and other agile tools. Doing Agile simply delivers software continuously without learning and adapting. Retrospectives become just a list of improvement opportunities which forgets down the line of the delivery cycles. Daily scrum becomes a status reporting practice which is far different from the meaning of daily scrum. All of these practices ultimately lead to a micro-managing culture where agile doesn’t have a true meaning to it which gives the doubt of business success through agility.
Being Agile is a difficult journey. It requires a paradigm shift in mindset. Individuals within all levels of the company should be ready to embrace the change and held each other accountable to agile principles and values.
Journey of ‘Being Agile’ requires a dedicated discussion to itself to elaborate the transformation approaches. However, I would like to mention few perspectives of agility which are vital for the agile transformation.
People Agility is about individual behaviors, habits, and beliefs. It’s about the culture of the organization that helps to evolve talents and skills. Having a flat organizational hierarchy without hard and fast job titles that imprison various talents is essential for an agile mindset. Management and the leadership should embrace the cultural change and let their subordinates feel safe to take decisions, to do experiments, to learn new skills and to evolve the methods of their working habits.
Process Agility is about the flexibility of choosing and customizing of the organizational processes. Heavily regulated organizations find themselves with rigid processes which hard to adapt to a changing environment. Process Agility gives the flexibility to teams on how they get the work done that will eventually lead to a better commitment. By giving the flexibility to mix and match, and customize according to the teams and project nature will lead to innovative development approaches.
Product Agility is about the internal quality of the software as well as the product solution. Rather forcing the solution to the development team, communicating the business problem with the team might unlock more of innovative solutions. Product Agility enables the flexibility to change and experiments innovative solutions which eventually leads to product scalability and new competences.
Analyzing the current position of these three perspectives will help the organization to understand the current priority levels and a smooth transformation towards the business agility.