After ten years of implementation of Agile by organisations around the world, I’m only seeing mitigated success. Agile takes its roots in the 2001 Agile Manifesto, when software development adopted the idea of “Agile” in an effort to make software development more efficient and purpose driven. The more cynical of us might say that Agile is just another consulting fad, destined to rise and fade as have BPR, Lean, and Six-Sigma. The more optimist among us will say that Agile has helped to bring awareness of the need to do things differently, and to think differently, to the business community.
Creating an agile culture involves fundamentally rethinking how you run your organisation and most organisations that we spoke to in our recent research felt that they had not yet fully mastered the transition to an agile culture. Many were grappling with tensions resulting from new and different ways of working – these tensions are reflected here.
For many, Agile is associated with the technology part of your business or one or two pockets in your organisation. It is often thought of as set of routines and practices – stand up meetings, retrospectives, Kanban, etc. We refer to this as DO-ing agile.
Our ability and desire to change as humans, has driven an extraordinary rate of change in particular over the past 10 years. Think of yourself as a customer. You demand immediacy; you want to be understood; you expect improvements; you expect high levels of service, whether it is for internet connectivity, banking, shopping, healthcare, or entertainment. And you have more choices than ever.