In pursuing the organizational agility that enables strategic, fast-moving transformation, leaders must focus on four spheres — individual behavior, team responsibilities, management governance and institutionalization. Along the way, they’ll also need to ask “so what?” questions, break down barriers and embrace discovery.
Agile organizations are always learning from their customers and their products, using them as guides to new ideas and opportunities. They also bring an agile mindset to selecting and executing the ideas they pursue, making advances iteratively through a continuous cycle of different initiatives at different stages.
Organizations don’t become agile overnight. It takes deep commitment at all levels, and it permeates all facets of the business. Missteps are to be expected, but to get started on the right track, we must first understand when and where agility makes the most sense for the organization.
At its core, Organizational Agility is about strategic responsiveness and functional flexibility. Companies that master it — that embrace rapid change as a source of energy and innovation — will thrive while others stagnate. Here is an introduction to the concept, including the driving forces behind it and the characteristics that define it.
Here’s a short but far-ranging conversation with Mike Cohn, whose opening keynote at this week’s Scrum Gathering made a persuasive case for open-mindedness. By being willing to admit we’re wrong and avoiding loyalty to any one brand of Agile, Cohn says we’re much more likely to discover good ideas. [14 min.]
Skip Angel and Richard Watt discuss their "Naked History" presentation at this month’s Scrum Gathering — a workshop that looks at why there aren’t more agile transformation success stories, and what we may need to do differently in framing large organizational change initiatives. [13:30]
Agile coach John Miller discusses his efforts, sponsored in part by Scrum Alliance, to educate young students about Agile principles, and how it can help in their studies, workforce preparation, and fundamental life choices. He also talks about the role of meditation in his own work. [16 min.]
Continuous improvement is serious work but it doesn’t have to be a somber affair. Scrum trainer Adam Weisbart uses comedy techniques and games to improve retrospectives and help teams find solutions to challenges. He also talks about the value of keeping a daily journal. [23 min.]
Flexible work approaches allow teams to use the methodologies that best suit their needs. Agile and Waterfall methods can be used within the same program or portfolio of projects, but like any successful marriage, it takes compromise and adjustment. Here are six guidelines to make it work and make your organization more Agile.
While it seems to make sense to create separate backlogs for the technical and business aspects of a project, it can do more harm than good. In addition to causing team friction and inefficiencies, it negates an essential Agile benefit: delivering value based on one prioritized vision.