Doing Agile and Being agile are two different things

Many organizations see the value of transforming to agile and try internally to begin their agile journey. Yes, agile is the way to mitigate the risk and penetrate the market based on the customer needs and demands since is a customer-centric approach. Agile is the way to respond to change rapidly by taking advantage the available human resources within the organization.

What is really needed though to be agile? Going by the book and putting in place all the ceremonies, does not really provide you the desired business agility you are looking for. If you just ask from your employees to perform a daily stand-up or catch-up without understand the value behind that ceremony, eventually it just makes it another one meeting that ends up being a headache for your employees. Why is it so important for all the team members to gather together on daily basis and for 15 minutes to stand and talk?

The real organizational agility is hidden behind the reasons of having those ceremonies that are suggested by Scrum or Kanban etc. Usually each organization that tries to implement agile has the same question "I think we are doing something wrong. Is this how agile supposed to be?" Based on my experience, this is a very common question. The least of your worries should be "What others do?"

The answer I personally give to that question is simple. They do whatever fits best to their organization. Let's take for example the Spotify culture. I call it culture and not a model because simply Spotify found their own way of working and built their own identity. Is a very good example for all the organizations that wish to become agile, to find their own way and build their own identity. Yes is good to study these cultures and No is not good to copy any culture from any other organization. Think every organization as a Country, that has its own culture. Countries are different because of the different culture as well as many other things, therefore organizations are different from each other simply because of their organizational culture.

Where to begin from the agile transformation journey? Do a cultural scan of your organization, do an agile organizational assessment and then based on what you know start your agile journey. Transformation is not an overnight process, it takes time, but having the right agile mindset, the agile transformation journey will empower your employees to act as entrepreneurs and via experimentation that seats on a safe to fail environment, you will be able to find your own way.

Konstantinos Kareklas - Agile coach